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Asnimar gets the vote
Published on: Sunday, September 09, 2018

Kota Kinabalu: Former Deputy State Secretary (Administration) Datuk Asnimar Hj Sukardi is this year's Tokoh Wanita 2018 (Eminent Woman). The prestigious award carries with it a trophy, a certificate, RM10,000 cash and a bouquet.

On hand to present the award at the State-level Women's Day celebration Friday night was Deputy Chief Minister cum Minister of Tourism, Culture and Environment, Christina Liew, on behalf of Chief Minister Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal. "I feel honoured and would like to share this decoration with the women in Sabah," Asnimar said.

Her career in the State Civil Service spanned almost four decades beginning in 1981, upon graduating with a degree in Political Economy from Thames University, United Kingdom.

The "old girl" of All Saints' Secondary School served as Chairperson of the Sabah Women's Advisory Council (MPWS) from 2005 to 2010, and as Chairperson of the State Youth Consultative Council from 2012 to 2014. By virtue of her vast experience, she was appointed as Chairperson of Sedcovest Holdings Sdn Bhd recently.

Asnimar is active in non-governmental organisations (NGOs) like Kopeks and Kowani (Women's Cooperative) and sits on the Board of the Tambunan Orphanage. Other award recipients each received RM5,000 cash, a trophy and a certificate.


Papar-born housewife Dayang Hajiah Hj Awang Abas, 77, was declared Exemplary Mother, having successfully raised nine children together with her husband. All managed to obtain tertiary education within and outside the country. Among them are a teacher, engineer, entrepreneur and senior officers in the state or federal government.

Strong-willed Dayang Hajiah had previously received an accolade at Papar community-level, and was a finalist for the National Exemplary Mother Award in 2010.

Datuk Dr Hajah Zaiton Hj Ajamain, 66, a graduate of the University of New Castle Upon Tyme England, was named Excellent Woman Humanist by virtue of her immersion in the field of writing. Prior to her retirement, she served as a senior officer with the Institute of Language and Literature, and was actively involved in facilitating writing workshops, translation work, editing books and reviewing literary works.

Apart from numerous literary awards, she received the Doctor of Letters Honorary Award from the World Congress of Poets (headquartered in the USA) in 2013.


Only 36, entrepreneur Sariyaman Sabur who hails from Kunak added a feather to her cap when she won the Promising Woman Entrepreneur Award in recognition of her creativity and innovativeness in the food industry. She is active in the Economic Technical Team's Entrepreneurship Sub-Committee under Sosek Malindo.

Her other awards include Siswazah Pertanian dan Industri Asas Jaya (2016) and Anugerah Peladang Jaya Wanita (2017). Other awardees comprised Excellent Woman Entrepreneur Hjh Jamilah Abdullah, 52, Promising Woman Icon Katerine Chong Suk Mee, 27, from Keningau and Woman Icon Mary Jim, 42, also from Keningau.

Jamilah, a mother of four, holds a Diploma in Secretaryship and Business Marketing. Her forte is entrepreneurship in craftwork and women's accessories, and she owns 11 shop outlets with "Jamilah" as the brand throughout the state. She is an NGO activist in the Sabah Handicraft Association, Association of Malay Entrepreneurs and Traders Malaysia (Perdasama) and Sabah Women's Association (Pewasa).

Katerine, a music teacher with Pang Piano Music and Cresendo Music, is also a social activist. Not many are aware that she initiated the volunteer mission at Rumah Putra Harapan (Orphanage) by cleaning, painting and livening up the compound of the institution.


In the past, she had raised funds in aid of village folk and even built a "Rumah Kraftangan" as well as made a contribution to single mothers in villages in the interior of Sabah.

One of Mary's biggest contributions is providing employment to rural women in the interior by teaching them sewing and weaving skills. A lover of art craft, she owns an academy to promote and market a range of clutch bags and other costume jewellery made by rural women, using local material and her own "MJ" brand.

Now a motivational speaker on entrepreneurship, she was a member of the MPWS Economic Committee, and bagged several awards such as Rural Woman Icon (from the Ministry of Youth and Sports), Creative Award, Innovative Award (from SME Graduates, Universiti Malaysia Sabah), and Golden Entrepreneur Award (from Ministry of Youth and Sports).

Meanwhile, the Excellent Women Association Award went to Persatuan Persaudaraan Muslimah Malaysia (Salimah) Sabah. Also present were Minister of Education and Innovation, Datuk Dr Yusof Yacob, Minister of Youth and Sports, Frankie Poon, Assistant Minister of Health and People's Well-being, Norazlinah Hj Arif, who represented Minister Stephen Wong, Assistant Minister of Finance, Kenny Chua, Assistant Minister of Law and Native Affairs, Jannie Lasimbang, Assistant Minister of Education and Innovation, Jenifer Lasimbang, State Secretary Datuk Hashim Paijan, State Attorney-General Zaleha Rose Pandin, Permanent Secretary to the Ministry of Health and Well-being, Janet Chee, Director of Sabah Women's Affairs Department (Jhewa), Hjh Masnah Matsalleh and MPWS Chairperson Datuk Dr Tarsiah TZ Taman.

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