First woman to contest in 1959 GE passes away at 91

HANA NAZ HARUN


KUALA LUMPUR: The first woman to contest in the 1959 General Election, Datuk Siti Rahmah Kassim, has passed away at 10.55am in Kelana Jaya here, today.

Her daughter, Puan Sri Prof Sri Dr Rohaty Mohd Majzub, in confirming this to Malay online portal Sinar Online, said Siti Rahmah, 91, died of old age.

Rohaty said three months ago, her mother could no longer sit and could only just lie down in bed. Her health condition was also poor.

“This past week, she has been quite weak. When she exhaled her last breath, my husband and I, including my siblings were by her side,” she said.

Rohaty said her mother would be buried at the Bukit Kiara Muslim Cemetery.

Siti Rahmah was an Umno veteran and was the first Malay woman who donated her gold bangle so that the nation’s first Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman could make the trip to London to obtain the country’s independence from the British.

She went into politics at the young age of 19, and won the Terentang state constituency in Negri Sembila, which she held for two terms before retiring as an assemblyman in 1964.

Wanita Umno chief Tan Sri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil, in expressing her condolences, said Siti Rahmah was a woman who fought for independence and willing to sacrifice her wealth.

“Her passing is felt by everyone, especially among us in Wanita Umno, (and) her determination inspires us to continue our struggles.

“No one can replace her,” she said in a statement today.