KUALA LUMPUR, April 16 — The launching and naming ceremony of a Royal Malaysian Navy (TLDM) ship by a woman is a tradition of the TLDM since it was known as the Royal Navy.
According to the TLDM Strategic Communication Headquarters, the selected woman or ‘Lady Sponsor’ would be the wife of a dignitary such as the wife of the prime minister, defence minister, royalty or sultan.
The statement issued today on the launch and naming of the TLDM’s first littoral combat ship (LMS) in Wuhan, China yesterday by Normah Alwi, wife of Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu, also clarified that the traditional ceremony was in accordance with Islamic laws and the eastern values of Malaysia.
“For ships which are named after states, wives or women connected with the states will be chosen. For instance, KD Kedah was named by Datuk Seri Tengku Puteri Intan Safinaz, a member of the Kedah royal family.
“For ships named after warriors, women who inherit the name or dignitary women from the state will be selected. For instance, the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS), Maharajalela was named by Raja Permaisuri Perak (Tuanku Zara Salim),” the statement said.
It added that in the case of ships with names other than states and warriors, the wives of national dignitaries would be chosen, such as KD Tunku Abdul Rahman was named by Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, the wife of the deputy prime minister then, Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
“In 1995, KD Jebat was named by Datin Seri Dr Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali who was the wife of then prime minister Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad (now Tun),” the statement said.
As such, it added the launch and naming of the TLDM’s first LMS by Normah was in accordance with a tradition long practised by the TLDM and the term ‘Lady Sponsor’ given to the wife of the defence minister was normal practice, it said. — Bernama