Malaysian ‘Mother Teresa’ passes away at 97

PETALING JAYA: Malaysia’s “Mother Teresa”, Datin Paduka A. Mangalam S. Iyaswasmy (pic), has passed away. She was 97.

Mangalam, who was a well-known figure in the humanitarian field, was the life president of the Pure Life Society (PLS), which was founded in 1949.

She had an illustrious career in the field; Mangalam was a recipient of the Merdeka Award in 2010 for education and community, Malaysia Inter-Religious Organisation vice president, and a member of the National Advisory Council for the Integration of Women in Development.

Pure Life Society vice-president Datuk VL Kandan said in a statement that Mangalam had fallen ill after celebrating her 97th birthday on May 20.

“It was a very happy occasion for her, after which she fell ill with pneumonia and received the best medical attention possible in Assunta Hospital.

“However, complications set in. We have lost someone who personified the Pure Life Society throughout its 72 years of existence. She passed away peacefully at 3.52pm on Saturday,” he said.

Kandan said the funeral would be held tomorrow.

“Those who wish to pay their last respects can do so today, from 10am at the PLS Multipurpose Hall,” he said.

Meanwhile, a former student, Ravindran Raman Kutty, 61, described Mangalam as wise and a “gentle soul”.

Ravindran said he first met Magalam decades ago at SRK Dharma in Jalan Puchong, where she served as a headmistress.

“Undoubtedly, she was a motherly figure to us all,” said Ravindran, who had served a term as PLS secretary.

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