Music icon

Infectious disease expert Leo Yee Sin and music icon Nona Asiah among 7 to join S’pore Women’s Hall of Fame

SINGAPORE – Infectious disease expert Leo Yee Sin, who has been at the forefront of Singapore’s battle against Covid-19, was one of seven women inducted into the Singapore Women’s Hall of Fame (SWHF ) Tuesday, March 8.

Their addition means there are now 174 women honorees in the SWHF, which was launched in 2014 by the Council of Singapore Women’s Organizations (SCWO) to recognize women who have impacted Singapore through their achievements and contributions. exceptional.

High-profile figures this year included Ms. Koh Soo Boon, the first Singaporean woman to enter Silicon Valley and founder of Singapore’s first female-led venture capital firm, iGlobe Partners, and Professor Lily Kong , President of Singapore Management University and the first Singaporean woman to head a Singapore university.

Other pioneers were Malaysian music and film icon Nona Asiah; golfer Kee Bee Khim, who dominated women’s golf in Singapore and the region for nearly three decades; pioneering biomedical researcher Ding Jeak Ling; and pioneering social worker and domestic violence specialist Sudha Nair, who launched the Center for Promoting Alternatives to Violence.

President Halimah Yacob presented trophies to inductees at the Istana on Tuesday morning, International Women’s Day.

Professor Leo, 62, who is executive director of the National Center for Infectious Diseases (NCID), had launched the first HIV center in Singapore. She said: “I am honored and very happy to meet so many exceptional women at the induction ceremony.

“This honor is both recognition and appreciation for our work at NCID and the work of the health sector. I hope this recognition will serve as an encouragement for women to take on leadership roles and recognize great contributions they make in the health sector.”

Ms. Asiah, who is over 90, was represented by her son, music director Indra Shahrir Ismail, at the ceremony.

He told the Straits Times: “It is truly a great honour. My mother’s drive and dedication not only shaped my siblings and me, but also led her to make a great contribution to children and to the community.”

Her mother started singing when she was young during the Japanese occupation and became a singer, narrator and host for Radio Malaya.

Later, she became a vocal coach and mentor for young talents, many of whom have become big names in Malaysian entertainment – ​​singer, host and producer Najip Ali being one of them.

Two of Madame Asiah’s five children – the late Iskandar Mirza Ismail, who was awarded the Cultural Medal in 2008, and Mr. Indra – have continued their illustrious musical careers.

She received the Cultural Medal in 2016.