KUALA LUMPUR 25 Mar. – Three women received Wanita Umno's special gold medals in conjunction with the 59th General Assembly of the party here today.
They are the Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM),Professor Dr. Asma Ismail; an academician and scientist from Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM), Professor Dr. Halimaton Hamdan and the Director General of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP), Dr. Salmah Zakaria.
Dr. Asma and Dr. Halimaton received their awards from Wanita Umno Chief, Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz while Dr Salmah Zakaria was represented by one of her children.
Dr. Asma who began her career as a USM lecturer in 1986 is also a professor at the Institute for Research in Molecular Medicine (Informm), USM.
An expert in molecular biology, Prof. Asma discovered the specific antigen for Salmonella Typhi and developed a diagnostic kit for typhoid fever which has been commercialised in more than 18 countries since 1994.
Meanwhile, Halimaton was the first woman to be appointed Professor in Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM).
Professor Halimaton who initiated the study "zeolite and nanostructures", has been listed by the International Biographical Center in Cambridge, United Kingdom as one of the 1000 outstanding scientists for 2008/09.
She has also successfully developed maerogel (the lightest nano material and an excellent insulator) which has been patented in Malaysia and in 22 other countries.
Dr. Salmah, another recipient of the Special Award had been in the civil service for 31 years and is currently serving with UNESCAP in Bangkok, Thailand.
She is an expert in water management and is actively involved in efforts to overcome the impacts of floods and pollution as a result of uncontrolled development.
Gold medals were also awarded to 16 other outstanding young women in the field of education.
They include post-graduate students, Nooratiqah Mohd. Arif from Universiti Technologi Malaysia (UTM); Syirzatul Azwa Karim from Universiti Islam Antarabangsa Malaysia (UIAM); Siti Khairiyah Sejo from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM); Aini Marina Ma'arof from Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM); Azliana Abu Bakar Sajak from Universiti Malaysia Terengganu (UMT); Rita Maizura Mohamed from Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris (UPSI); Iznny Ismail Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM); and Liyana Mahat from Universiti Tun Hussein Onn.
Other recipients were Jeissy Lim from Universiti Malaya (UM); Nur Zawani Saharuddin from Universiti Teknikal Malaysia Melaka (Utem); Fauziah Hassan from Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia (USIM); Nurul Mubinah Suhaimi from Universiti Malaysia Pahang (UMP); Farah Farhana Zainal from Universiti Malaysia Perlis (Unimap); Nor Ana Nordin from Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM); Leydra Philip Felix from Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas); and Nor Airin Muhammad Aidil Koay from USM.
This article was published in Utusan,26 Mar. 2009, pg 21, Perhimpunan Agung UMNO ke-59