Mark women's contributions for Singapore bicentennial

(From left) Statues of Tan Tock Seng, Munshi Abdullah, Sir Stamford Raffles, Naraina Pillai, and Sang Nila Utama along the Singapore River.
(From left) Statues of Tan Tock Seng, Munshi Abdullah, Sir Stamford Raffles, Naraina Pillai, and Sang Nila Utama along the Singapore River. PHOTO: ST FILE

It is a pity that the Singapore Bicentennial Office (SBO) did not include at least one woman when they decided to erect statues of other pioneers of Singapore to stand alongside the statues of Sir Stamford Raffles (Four S'pore pioneers join Raffles in bicentennial project; Jan 5).

One woman who could have been considered is Hajjah Fatimah Sulaiman, who was a successful merchant and philanthropist.

Before Raffles had taken his first step onto Singapore soil, Hajjah Fatimah was already running a thriving trading business.

In the 1840s, she donated land and money for the construction of a mosque in Kampong Glam, which was named after her and gazetted as a national monument in 1973.

Hajjah Fatimah was an early example of a woman who made significant contributions to Singapore. There were many others, and I hope that their contributions will be acknowledged and celebrated.

She also built homes for the needy.

Hajjah Fatimah was an early example of a woman who made significant contributions to Singapore.

There were many others, and I hope that their contributions will be acknowledged and celebrated.

The Singapore Women's Hall of Fame was set up in 2014 to recognise these achievements and share their stories, and has currently inducted a total of 152 outstanding women.

The SBO could visit the Singapore Women's Hall of Fame and consider how some of the women listed on the website could be included in its celebration of Singapore's history.

Margaret Thomas (Ms)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 09, 2019, with the headline 'Mark women's contributions for S'pore bicentennial'. Print Edition | Subscribe