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Forbes Asia's 2024 '50 over 50' features 3 prominent Malaysian women.

image from FMT


PETALING JAYA: Forbes has introduced its compelling "50 Over 50: Asia 2024" list, spotlighting 50 remarkable women over the age of 50 from diverse backgrounds across the Asia-Pacific region.


Three prominent Malaysian woman featured in the list are Rebecca Fatima Sta Maria, the executive director of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) Secretariat; Ambiga Sreenevasan, a lawyer-activist; and Tunku Mona Riza Khalid, a movie director and founder of film production house Current Pictures.


According to Forbes, these women, representing 14 countries and territories, span over two dozen work sectors, including fashion, pharmaceuticals, and finance.


Forbes highlighted the achievements of Rebecca Fatima Sta Maria, 65, who made history as the first woman to lead the 21-member inter-governmental economic advisory body, the Apec Secretariat. Her decade-long service in Malaysia's international trade and industry ministry, culminating as secretary-general and lead trade negotiator, shaped the country's global economic contributions. A former non-executive director of RHB Bank Bhd, she has also represented the region at the World Economic Forum.


Ambiga Sreenevasan, 67, a prominent Malaysian lawyer and human rights advocate, earned accolades in the past year, including the Ruth Bader Ginsburg Medal of Honour and the Gandhi Memorial Trust Public Service Award. As the second female president of the Malaysian Bar Council, she orchestrated influential initiatives like the "March for Justice" and chaired Bersih 2.0, advocating for free and fair elections. Ambiga, a founding member of the Women’s Aid Organisation, is president of the Pure Life Society, a charitable home for orphans and the underprivileged.


Tunku Mona Riza, 57, gained recognition with "Redha," winning Most Promising Director at the Malaysia Film Festival 2017. Depicting the challenges of raising an autistic child, the film was Malaysia’s entry for Best Foreign Language Film at the 89th Academy Awards. Her 2023 release, "Rain Town," Malaysia’s first Chinese-language film by a Malay female director, premiered in February 2024 and was showcased at prestigious events like the Vancouver Asian Film Festival and the International Film Festival of India in Goa.


For the full list, visit Forbes.com or obtain Forbes Asia's February/March issue. The inclusion of these Malaysian women underscores their remarkable contributions to various fields, adding a distinct Malaysian touch to the regional narrative of inspiring women over 50.

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