PPSEAWA Malaysia was founded in 1960. The founder and first president was Saadiah Sardon (1960 – 1961) and Goh Kwee Teng as Treasurer. Successors to the Presidency include May Ong Yoke Ling (1962), Dr Salmah Ismail (1963) and Dulcie Marks (1966 – 1976). The original chapter was dissolved in 1976.
Dr Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali, wife of the then Prime Minister, on a visit to New York in 1983, was urged by the New York Chapter to revive PPSEAWA Malaysia. On her return she persuaded Saadiah Sardon, founder president of the original chapter, to revive the association. Accordingly, a new chapter was registered in October 1983 and Dr Siti Hasmah graciously accepted to be its Patron.
In 1984, the Patron of PPSEAWA Malaysia led a delegation of 12 ladies to the Sixteenth International Conference in Japan. The Conference opened in Tokyo and then moved to Saitama Women’s Education Centre, where Dr Siti Hasmah presented a paper on “Family Health.”
The Seventeenth PPSEAWA International Conference was held in Canberra, Australia in 1988. The wife of the Malaysia High Commissioner, Razimah Zakaria together with ladies of the High Commission represented the Malaysian Chapter. They presented silk batik pieces and contributed a cultural performance for the entertainment of the delegates.
In 1988 the newly elected International President, Thanpuying Sumalee Chartikavanij of Thailand, was a dinner guest of Saadiah Sardon, and spoke about the Canberra Conference, as none of PPSEAWA Malaysia member was able to attend. She sparked new interest in the movement and during her visit was taken to see a number of projects involving PPSEAWA members, such as the Sang Kancil women income generating project, The Women’s Aid Organization, and INFOKRAFT cottage industry project.
In 1989 a fund-raising Hi-Tea was held under the Patronage of Dr Siti Hasmah. The proceeds were used to establish a Help Service Centre where PPSEAWA can provide information and help to women in need.
Another signal achievement was winning the Raymond Magsaysay award by PPSEAWA Life member, Zakiah Hanum binti Abdul Hamid, for her work as Director General of the National Archives. PPSEAWA Malaysia was indeed proud of her achievement.
From 1990 – 2000, Ann Abdul Majeed, the Vice President, assumed the Presidency and accepted the responsibility of preparing Malaysia to host the 20th PPSEAWA International Conference in 1997. Among her tasks was to attend and head a delegation to the Tonga 19th International Conference to bid for Malaysia as the next conference venue. For the first time PPSEAWA Malaysia members were dressed in silk batik light blue uniform. We also presented a fashion show of Malaysian fabrics. Needless to say, we made an impression, especially for those who rarely heard of the country Malaysia!
From 2000 – to present, Rahmah Abdul Hamid, the Vice President, assumed the Presidency.
PPSEAWA Malaysia moved into her own office space in Mutiara Bangsar in November 2000. At the new headquarters we are able to establish a permanent office where all records of the organization are kept in a safe place. At our permanent office all meetings and events are conducted successfully as the place is centrally located with access to LRT station.
The 21st International Conference in Raratonga, Cook Islands brought our members to the distance shores of the Pacific in 2000. That was followed by the 22nd meeting in Singapore in 2004, where we had a big delegation. In 2007 was the 23rd International Conference in New Zealand. In 2010, the biggest delegation of 38 members went to Bali for the 24th International Conference. In 2013, Fiji hosted the 25th International Conference. It is always nice to see the delegation from Malaysia going from strength to strength and our presence and attendance at international level has placed us in a position of great respect internationally.
It is worthy to note that the Midterm Conferences too has now moved to make bigger impact among members. Our biggest group went to Taiwan Midterm Conference in 2011 in conjunction with the 100th year celebrations of Taiwan. The recent 2014 Chicago Midterm Conference was held to complement the work that we have been doing on Human Trafficking. Vice President, Dr Raj Abdul Karim presented a paper at The Loyola University forum.
We are now anxiously preparing the 26th International Conference which will be held in Kuala Lumpur from 22 – 31 August, 2016. The topic will be on “Respect the Environment for a Sustainable and Peaceful Future”. We are very hopeful of taking the message across to the country. Every month we hold a small activity to create the awareness. We are looking forward to hosting our PPSEAWA Sisters and with the good camaraderie that now exists among us, there is a great deal of positive vibes for a very successful gathering.