Singapore

Five women who also deserve to be inducted into Singapore Women's Hall of Fame

More of Singapore's best and brightest women were inducted into the Singapore Women's Hall of Fame (SWHF) on Friday (March 18).

The Singapore Council of Women's Organisations (SCWO) honoured 14 women including renowned chef, Ms Violet Oon, 66.

Other honorees include Ms Mary Beatrice Klass, 80, who represented Singapore at the 1956 Melbourne Olympics and orthopaedic surgeon Ang Swee Chai, who worked in war-torn Lebanon in 1982.

Launched in 2014, the SWHF has honoured 133 women so far. 

It may be a little too early to think of potential inductees for next year, but when it comes to recognising women's achievements, any time can be the right time to highlight them.

So The New Paper came up with a few nominees for next year.

1. Pamela Chng

​The 40-year-old founder of social enterprise Bettr Barista Coffee Academy has been helping at-risk youth and marginalised women by arming them with useful skills.

Youth and women at the academy go through a subsidised 12-week course. Of course, it's a given that they will be given barista training, too.

They are also given emotional resilience training and taught physical skills such as defence, canoeing and yoga. 

These activities also help to build self-esteem and confidence.

The course also helps the students be more holistic and well-rounded and well-prepared to take on any challenges they may face in future.

Ms Chng told The Straits Times in 2014: "Every ounce of work is going towards something bigger than your own minute world. I needed a vehicle to execute that – so I chose coffee, which I have always loved.”

2. Noriza A. Mansor 

She's the good Samaritan who moved the nation.

In October 2014, Madam Noriza, then 49, noticed an elderly man at a Toa Payoh FairPrice supermarket who had dried faeces smeared all over his lower body .

Instead of walking away, she helped Mr Tan Soy Yong, then 76.

She bought him a new pair of shorts, grabbed a box of tissue paper and a pail of water and then patiently cleaned him up.

Madam Noriza then accompanied the Mr Tan and his wife in a taxi to their home in Potong Pasir to make sure they were okay. 

Her act of kindness resonated with TNP readers, many of whom wrote in with offers to help him.

For her selfless service,  Madam Noriza won the first The Straits Times' Singaporean of the Year award this year. 

She is certainly someone many Singaporeans can aspire to be - and deserves to be inducted into the Singapore Women's Hall of Fame.

3. Zaiton Majeed

Even after going through adversity, Ms Zaiton Majeed continued to inspire other women with her story.

In April 2005, a taxi rammed Ms Zaiton into the back of a stationary military truck on Mandai Road.

Luckily she escaped paralysis, but had to have eight screws and two metal rods mounted to her fractured spine. 

Her doctor told her she will not walk again.

But a determined Ms Zaiton fought on and was able to walk again six months later.

She didn't stop there.

She wrote a book celebrating the strengths of being a woman. The book, "5 Things I love about Being a Woman", was released on Amazon last month. 

She said: "A woman can be whatever she wants to be, with faith and love. You just have to believe and take the first step. Don't worry about what other people say.

"I want to be a GPS (Global Positioning System) for others. I've found my life mission, which is to empower, educate and enrich."

 

4. Priscilla Shunmugam

Singapore may not be well-known for fashion. But local fashion designer Priscilla Shunmugam is definitely placing Singapore on the world fashion map.

The 34-year-old has taken her label Ong Shunmugam to Paris Fashion Week and the Audi Fashion Festival here. 

The former lawyer was named Her World Young Woman Achiever last year, so it's time she is also inducted to the Singapore Women's Hall of Fame. 

​5. Shanti Pereira

The sprinter made every Singaporean proud when she won the gold medal for the 200m dash at the SEA Games last year - the first medal for Singapore in that event in 42 years.

And she isn't stopping anytime soon as she has set her sights on the 2020 Olympic Games.

She became track and field's first recipient of the Sports Excellence Scholarship (spexScholarship), which is aimed at developing athletes with potential to win medals at the Asian, world and Olympic level.

She told The New Paper: "I am deeply honoured. I applied because I want to make it to the Asian Games in 2018 and the Olympic Games in 2020."

 

 

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