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8 theSun | TUESDAY OCTOBER 13 2009

news without borders

Growing number of female envoys


PUTRAJAYA: Female Malaysian
diplomats are often an unsung
Cup and 2016 Olympic Games.
“I am honoured at the ap-
small compared with some other
countries, but this has nothing to
force, but behind the scenes, their pointment, it is a big trust by the do with a lack of opportunities.
numbers are growing steadily government. I am excited, there The foreign service here was
and more are making it to the will be challenges because Brazil very much male-dominated
top rung as ambassadors. is a big player in Latin America before, but the number of women
The latest in a line that traces and an emerging economic have more than doubled since I
back to the often mentioned power in the world,” said the first came here,” Sudha said.
Datuk P.G. Lim is a Kulim-born 49-year-old envoy who has been A former student of St Anne’s
economics graduate of Universiti previously posted to Switzerland, Convent and SMK Sultan
Malaya, who is headed for the Singapore and Germany in her Badlishah in Kulim, she takes
world’s fifth largest country and 23 years with Wisma Putra. to her new post a depth of
one of the most watched global The first-time ambassador said knowledge in multilateral and
emerging market. her appointment underlined the bilateral affairs.
V. Sudha Devi – a career dip- equal opportunities for women “Unlike in the past when
lomat, wife and mother of two in the Malaysian foreign service, politics dominated, economic
teenagers – received her letter of which she joined in 1986 after matters have become a key part
appointment from the Yang di- training with the elite Adminis- of our duties to help boost trade
Pertuan Agong on Oct 7. She will trative and Diplomatic Corps. for the country,” Sudha said.
Malaysia’s new ambassador to replace the retired Datuk Ismail Debunking the perception She is making it a priority to
Brazil, V. Sudha Devi, takes with Mustapha as Malaysia’s ambas- that a career with Wisma learn Portuguese, the dominant
her a depth of knowledge in sador to Brazil, which is gearing Putra was for single or divorced language in Brazil, to help her
multilateral and bilateral affairs. up to host the 2014 Football World women, Sudha said there were network and add to her profi-
many like her who had support- ciency in French and German.
ive spouses and juggled the job Sudha was previously the
successfully with a family. deputy director-general of the
“I have my children with me Malaysia-Asean Secretariat. She
throughout my foreign postings, also served as second secretary
but I would not have been able at Malaysia’s Permanent Mission
to do it without the support of my to the United Nations in Geneva,
husband,” she said of her spouse first secretary at the Malaysian
Art Thamboo, a former journal- High Commission in Singapore
ist turned media practitioner. and minister counsellor with the
The internet and Skype ena- Malaysian Embassy in Berlin.
bled their children, a son and a During a home stint, she
daughter, to speak to their father was nicknamed the “Queen of
in Kuala Lumpur daily when Sheba”, which still tickles her.
they were abroad. “I was handling the African
Women make up a third desk for countries south of the Sa-
of officers in the ministry and hara, with 42 countries under my
15% of the top posts in over 100 watch,” she said. “But it has been
Malaysian missions and consu- good training; at Wisma, it is all
lates worldwide, Sudha said. about training. We are taught not
Women currently head, only diplomatic skills but to hone
among others, missions in The our knowledge and adaptability
Hague, Poland, Romania, Viet- to all kinds of situations.”
nam, Senegal and Croatia. The Malaysian embassy in
“The number of Malaysian Brazil was established in 1981.
woman ambassadors may seem – Bernama

Chinese woman escapes


gallows but gets life for kidnap
SHAH ALAM: A Chinese national, school-going children in China.
charged with kidnapping and Su, from Fujian, was initially
murdering a seven-year-old boy charged with Kee with murder-
in 2006, escaped the gallows ing the boy, Ho Ping, at Ladang
yesterday when the High Court Changkat Meranti, Kampung Baru
here acquitted her of the murder, Manjung, Perak between 2am and
but sentenced her to life imprison- 3am on May 19, 2006. Kee was Ho
ment for abducting the boy. Ping’s brother-in-law.
Judge Datuk Syed Ahmad Ho Ping’s body was found
Helmy Syed Ahmad held that the inside a bag in Sungai Manjung in
prosecution had proven beyond Perak that same day.
reasonable doubt the kidnapping Su and Kee were also charged
charge against Su Qiaomei, 38, with kidnapping Ho Ping for
but said Su had cast a doubt RM500,000 ransom at a house in
on the prosecution’s case for Subang Jaya, near here, at about
murder. 7.30pm on May 18, 2006.
The judge said that based on Kee committed suicide on May
the evidence adduced, it could not 18, 2008 while in the Sungai Buloh
be denied that the main player in Prison.
the case was Kee Lian Kok, who A total of 28 witnesses,
had since died. including one from the defence,
In mitigation, Su, represented were called to testify during the
by counsel Leslie Bala, said she hearing. Deputy public prosecu-
was the sole breadwinner and had tor Wan Shaharuddin Wan Ladin
to support her parents and two prosecuted. – Bernama

Five years for statutory rape


by Tan Yi Liang on Jan 18, 2004.
newsdesk@thesundaily.com Anita said the defence had
failed to cast reasonable doubt on
KUALA LUMPUR: An unemployed the prosecution’s case.
construction contract worker was In mitigation, Ngai’s counsel,
jailed for five years by the sessions P. Nathan, submitted that Ngai
court here yesterday after he was should be given a light sentence
found guilty of the statutory rape of as he and the girl were friends at
a 14-year-old girl in 2004. the time. He also said it was the girl
Judge Datin Anita Harun handed who had contacted Ngai.
down the sentence against Ngai “The accused, who was 22,
Wai Leong, 27. also thought she was older than
Ngai was charged under S376 15. He did not ask for her identity
of the Penal Code with committing card and had no intention of com-
statutory rape of a minor between mitting an offence. He regrets the
midnight and 1am in Jinjang Utara whole incident,” Nathan said.