This weekend, Brigadier-General Suriakala Suriabagavan will make history as the first non-Malay, female army officer to get the coveted two-star rank on her epaulette.

The grandmother of two, who hails from Klang, will be promoted to major-general at a ceremony in conjunction with the 87th Army Day in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, on Sunday, reported the New Straits Times (NST).

The daily spoke to Army chief Gen Ahmad Hasbullah Mohd Nawawi, who said Suriakala was deserving of the promotion, for her astute leadership and top-notch officer quality.

"She is one that needs minimal (or no) supervision and can deliver when it matters most. Suriakala is a very dedicated officer and we are proud and honoured to have someone like her serving not only the Army, but the entire Armed Forces and nation.

"We need more calibre staff like her, of all ranks, as she a fine example for others to emulate," he was quoted saying.

"The Army is very proud to present her the second 'star'. Well done!," he added.

'Will Keep Giving My Best'

Suriakala, who will turn 60 on Oct 26, appreciated the promotion, saying she never imagined she would make it this far.

"My family and I are ever grateful to the Army for where I am today and will do my utmost to continue giving my best.

"I hope my achievement will spur other Malaysian women to pursue a rewarding career in the Armed Forces,” she said.

Suriakala joined the Armed Forces in December 1981 and he coursemate includes deputy Army chief Liutenant-General Hasagaya Abdullah.

Over the years, she steadly rose through the ranks and in 2015, she was appointed brigadier-general.

Education wise, Suriakala has reportedly has a ‘double’ Masters degree in management from University of Malaya, and social science (defence studies) from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia.

Source: NST
Photo source: NST