June 10, 2011
Congrats, Tan Sri PG Lim
THE Panglima Setia Mahkota (PSM) award (which confers the title Tan Sri) bestowed on Datuk Lim Phaik Gan (better known as P.G. Lim), in conjunction with the birthday of Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin, is indeed a well-deserved honour.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak recently paid Lim a glowing tribute when he said: “Datuk Lim Phaik Gan is well-respected as one of the country’s pioneer female lawyers.
“During his administration, my late father, Tun Abdul Razak Hussein, appointed her deputy permanent representative to the United Nations in 1971 — the first Malaysian woman to hold the post. Her contributions have been invaluable to the growth of the nation.”
Nonagenarian Lim is a woman of great achievement and accomplishment — UN representative, diplomat, noted lawyer, union champion, director of the Kuala Lumpur Regional Centre for Arbitration, feminist, wife and mother — all woven into one distinguished grand lady.
Lim always stood up for people who didn’t have “voices” and, in her heyday, the Cambridge-educated lawyer fought some of the most well-known courtroom life-and-death battles.
She was equally well regarded in the trade union movement, especially for advising and representing in the late 1950s, the Railwaymen’s Union of Malaya, National Union of Plantation Workers and Transport Workers’ Union, among others, in their legal battles to secure improved working conditions, wages and benefits.
Appointed to serve in the UN as Malaysia’s first woman ambassador, her 10-year tenure in the foreign service took her across Europe on various diplomatic assignments. Lim was also the recipient of the prestigious 2009 Merdeka Award for her outstanding contributions to the nation.
RUEBEN DUDLEY, Petaling Jaya, Selangor–http://www.nst.com.my