Aida makes historic splash as Malaysia’s first female ship commanding officer

Aida holds a bachelor's degree in accounting from Universiti Teknologi Mara. — Bernama pic
Aida holds a bachelor's degree in accounting from Universiti Teknologi Mara. — Bernama pic

KUANTAN, Feb 15 — Aida Arzahari who notched a mark in Malaysian history as the country’s first female ship commanding officer dedicates her achievement to her mother who never ceased supporting and encouraging her to continue her late father’s legacy.

The 35-year-old maritime lieutenant in the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) said it was her mother, Hamiah  Zain, who had persuaded her to join the MMEA.

This is despite holding a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Universiti Teknologi Mara and having secured a job in the field of finance.

The Perlis-born Aida said her father, Arzahari Sudin who was a Royal Malaysian Navy warrant officer succumbed to heart attack on Jan 13, 2007 at age 49.

“When I felt like giving up during the training, I would recall my parents’ words of encouragement for me to be the best of the best,” she told reporters after receiving her instrument of appointment from Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Seri Dr Shahidan Kassim at the MMEA’s 13th anniversary celebration held in the Sultan Ahmad Shah Maritime Academy here today.

Aida, who joined MMEA on April 23, 2012 as a trainee officer and served in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah will lead the KM Nyalau ship based in Lumut, Perak.

“I hope this achievement will inspire other women to stand out together and achieve success despite being in a field which is generally, dominated by men (let’s) prove that women also have the ability to safeguard the country’s security,” she said.

Meanwhile, Hamiah, 57, said she kept pushing her eldest daughter to join the MMEA as she had always yearned to see at least one of her three children to follow in her husband’s footsteps.

According to her, Aida was best suited as she inherited many personality traits from her father, such as being strict, responsible and always completing every given task. — Bernama

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