Sunday, July 20, 2014

Al Fatehah : First Malay Woman Doctor Dies

 Today I received a text message from my physician Tan Sri Dr Ridzwan Abu Bakar to say that his mother had passed away. She was 95.
Al Fatehah

Here's the NST report.

Tan Sri Dr Salma Ismail, the country’s first Malay woman doctor, passed away this evening at Pantai Hospital in Bangsar at 6.15pm due to old age. She was 95.
Her eldest son, Tan Sri Dr Ridzwan Bakar said his mother died at 6.15pm, and that she was warded at the hospital recently.
He urged those who wanted to pay their last respects to her to do so before noon tomorrow (Monday) at No 6, Jalan Mesra, Off Jalan Aman, Kuala Lumpur.
“My mother’s determination to become a doctor superceded the norms of the time especially for a single Malay girl to journey from her hometown of Alor Star by boat to study in Singapore. But she did.”
The Second World War did not stop her from finishing her course, and it took her 11 years, which is longer than usual to finish her medical studies after it was interrupted by the war.
“She was the only girl candidate and the first in Kedah who passed the Senior Cambridge with distinction,” Dr Ridzwan said when contacted.
Dr Salma is the first Malay accredited doctor, after she completed her medical studies in 1947.
While studying midwifery in Dublin, Ireland, she met the late Datuk Dr Abu Bakar Ibrahim, also an Alor Star native and they later married.
Dr Ridzwan said his late father later became Director for the Institute of Medical Research.
Dr Salma returned to Alor Star to serve as the Royal Midwife to the late Sultanah of Kedah, following her studies in Dublin.
When Dr Abu Bakar was transferred to serve as Medical Superintendant of Kuala Lumpur General Hospital, Dr Salma became one of the first Malay private medical practitioners in the country to open a private clinic in 1967 – Klinik Salma - which still stands today. She retired from private practice at age 82.
Dr Ridzwan said his mother lived by the principle: “Have confidence in yourself, be honest, do not talk bad about others and give help to those who need it”.
She received the Bintang Cemerlang Kedah award in 1957 and Dato Paduka Mahkota Kedah (DPMK) in 1996 by the sultan of Kedah.
In 1997, she received her Tan Sri title after being conferred with the Panglima Setia Mahkota by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.
Dr Salma was also involved in the Higher Education Advisory Council, Governing Board of Tunku Kurshiah College, and was president of Private Practitioners Association of KL and president of the Pan-Pacific Southeast Asia Women Association.
She is survived by three children, who include Dr Ridzwan and six grandchildren.


uncle gedek said...

Dari Allah kita datang... kepada Allah kita kembali...

Anonymous said...

She was indeed a pioneer for women in this country. May her soul be placed amongst the righteous. Al Fatihah.