Series of Historical Narratives -Women In Malaysian History.
Tun Fatimah Bt Haji Hashim
Born on 25th December 1924 in Kampung Parit Keroma, Muar, Johor and received her formal education at the Kampung Parit Keroma Malay Boys' School and then continued her studies to the Mersing Malay Girls' School. She received her teacher's training at Mersing Girls' School which she attended every Saturday for two years, but was not given the opportunity in becoming a teacher due to the outbreak of the Second World War. However, she had managed to teach at the Mersing Girls' School by being the replacement teacher for teachers who were on leave or sick.
1947 was the impetus of Tun Fatimah's involvement in the political arena as an UMNO member bearing the number 315. In 1948 she was appointed as a Committee Member of the Kaum Ibu Kampung Nong Chik Johor Bahru Branch, and was assigned to collect fees and recruit new members. In addition to this, she has served as Assistant Secretary of UMNO Johor Bahru Branch (at this point in time Y.Bhg. Datin Suhaila acted as secretary) and was a representative of the Kaum Ibu UMNO. She then moved to Kota Tinggi due to following her husband who was a magistrate and will while residing there was appointed Vice Chairperson of Kaum Ibu UMNO of Kota Tinggi. There, she even managed to open classes for adults held at her own home in helping residents that were illiterate. Between 1951-1953, she held the position of Secretary of the Pergerakan Kaum Ibu UMNO Johor.
Her efforts were halted due to her obligations in following her husband to further his studies in England. Upon returning from abroad in June 1955, she became active again in politics (this time around within the state of Perak), and was equally involved in the election campaign and became a representative for Parti Perikatan to champion the voters in the elections held in July 1955. Once again afterwards the UMNO state leaders came to meet her and ask her good offices to reorganise the Pergerakan Kaum Ibu UMNO of Ipoh which she was elected as the leader. She was later elected to lead the Perak State UMNO movement in the UMNO General Assembly meeting in April 1956.
Towards the end of 1958, she once again followed her husband to work in Kedah. She contested for the Jitra / Padang Terap Area in the elections and was elected as the member of parliament for this area until 20th May 1969. She was also appointed as the first female minister in the Government of Malaysia by holding the Minister of Welfare portfolio.