Fashion designer is Young Woman Achiever for 2015; Police commander is Woman of the Year

The Her World Young Woman Achiever winner Priscilla Shunmugam, 34, fashion designer and owner of local label Ong Shunmugam.
The Her World Young Woman Achiever winner Priscilla Shunmugam, 34, fashion designer and owner of local label Ong Shunmugam. PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI FOR THE STRAITS TIMES
The Her World Woman of the Year, Senior Assistant Commissioner of Police Zuraidah Abdullah, 53.
The Her World Woman of the Year, Senior Assistant Commissioner of Police Zuraidah Abdullah, 53. PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI FOR THE STRAITS TIMES

SINGAPORE - In just five years, local fashion designer Priscilla Shunmugam has taken her eponymous label to Paris Fashion Week and the Audi Fashion Festival, boosting Singapore's name on the world fashion map.

The 34-year-old former lawyer was named Her World Young Woman Achiever for 2015 on Friday evening in recognition of her inspirational success and potential to go further in the design field.

In her acceptance speech, Ms Shunmugam said she felt her label Ong Shunmugam was not her greatest achievement so far; rather i a way to "do what I really want to think about".

"For a society at large which prizes results over anything else, I'll take this (award) as a sign that we're ready to respect those who try no matter the outcome."

Ms Shunmugam was presented her award at a gala dinner at the Shangri-La Hotel Singapore. Her World magazine also named Senior Assistant Commissioner of Police Zuraidah Abdullah as its Woman of the Year for her outstanding and well-respected achievements.

Last year Madam Zuraidah, 53, became the first woman to be appointed Commander of the Airport Police Division, overseeing the security of all three terminals and the safety of the over 50 million passengers that pass through Changi Airport every year.

Earlier in her 29-year career in the Singapore Police Force, she helped implement the ruling for children below eight to be seated in a child's car seat. She is also chairman of the Malay Heritage Foundation.

"There is no reason for women to not also excel at the workplace if the organisation gives us the same opportunities," she said in her acceptance speech. "But to excel, you must be prepared to work hard and grab the opportunities given to you."

Speaker of Parliament Halimah Yacob was the guest of honour and said in her speech that she was confident the two winners will be good inspiration to other women.

"Women of today are taking charge of their destiny and at the same, shaping those around them."

Mr Loh Yew Seng, chief executive of Singapore Press Holdings Magazines, said at the dinner: "We are pleased to honour two women who represent and project the best of Singapore, at home or abroad, and are inspirations and role models to society."