Malaysia’s Royal Police (PDRM) reported via their Facebook page today that one of their own, Sariah Ali, one of the first women recruited into the force, passed away peacefully in her home yesterday in Teluk Intan, Perak.
“My mother looked healthy this morning while having breakfast but when we wanted to wake her up for lunch, she did not respond and at that time, we knew that she had gone,” her eldest son told Berita Harian.
She was 87 years old.
KONSTABEL SARIAH ALI, WANITA TERAWAL SERTAI PDRM TERIMA LAWATAN KEBAJIKANKuala Lumpur, 11 November 2018 – Polis Diraja…
Having started her career at 22, she initially had gone to accompany a friend who was interviewing to join the nascent PDRM. The two had traveled from their homes in Johor, to Negri Sembilan for the meeting, and Sariah was granted an interview upon arrival. One week letter, she received a letter back in Johor telling her that she had gotten the job, and to report to the police training academy in Kuala Lumpur, on August 1, 1956.
Late last year, current officers honored the elderly Sariah in her home, paying homage to her decades of service, and trailblazing role as a woman on the force.
During the post-war period, officials had begun to introduce women into the police fold, with the first seven being recruited as inspectors in 1955. One year later, the first group of 54 were taken in to be police constables, of which Sariah belonged to.
Having reflected on her police interview process decades ago in news profile on her 85th birthday, she remembered that five other individuals were also interviewed; however, only she was ultimately selected. When asked why, she told the journalist that she was in good health, had good eyesight, and strength.
She is survived by eight children, 23 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.