14 to be added to Singapore Women's Hall of Fame

Ms Aziza Ali (above) and Ms Violet Oon are among those being honoured today for their contributions to Singapore.
Ms Aziza Ali and Ms Violet Oon (above) are among those being honoured today for their contributions to Singapore.ST FILE PHOTO
Ms Aziza Ali (above) and Ms Violet Oon are among those being honoured today for their contributions to Singapore.
Ms Aziza Ali (above) and Ms Violet Oon are among those being honoured today for their contributions to Singapore. ST FILE PHOTO

She has spent her life championing Singapore cuisine around the world as a chef and journalist. Now, Ms Violet Oon, 66, is one of 14 women being inducted into the Singapore Women's Hall of Fame (SWHF).

She said: "It is an amazing honour to be among Singapore's best and brightest women. And to have my life's obsession recognised, is truly exhilarating!"

The women will be inducted into the SWHF today, four posthumously, by the Singapore Council of Women's Organisations (SCWO). The inductees range from athletes to diplomats. SCWO patron Mrs Mary Tan, wife of President Tony Tan Keng Yam, will present them with trophies at a gala dinner at Shangri-La Hotel.

The SWHF was launched in 2014 as a virtual portal to recognise outstanding contributions by women to Singapore. A total of 108 women were honoured in 2014 and 11 last year. The selection panel is chaired by Singapore's Ambassador-at-Large, Professor Tommy Koh.

Another honoree this year is Ms Aziza Ali, 66, who pioneered and popularised the concept of Malay fine-dining with her restaurant Aziza's in 1979.

"It (SWHF) is a fantastic way of appreciating those who dared to do different things in different ways," she said. "We went through so many challenges. It encourages younger people not to give up."

Ms Mary Beatrice Klass, 80, who represented Singapore at the 1956 Melbourne Olympics, said: "I am tremendously happy and proud that they remember my past achievement as a sprinter."

Some were recognised for contributing to societies outside Singapore. For example, orthopaedic surgeon Ang Swee Chai worked in war-torn Lebanon in 1982, and was awarded the Star of Palestine for her efforts.

Said Prof Koh: "It is right that our people are applying their talent, vision and passion as good global citizens to make this a better world."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 18, 2016, with the headline '14 to be added to Singapore Women's Hall of Fame'. Print Edition | Subscribe