Begum Bismillah Munawar


1. Name: Begum Bismillah Munawar

2. Occupation: Philanthropist and Pioneer of voluntary movements

3. Date of birth: 1921

4. Date of death: 1985

5. Education:

  1. St. George’s Girls Primary School (1939)

6. Contributions:

  1. The first Muslim head prefect of St. Georges’s (1936)
  2. The first Muslim woman to be admitted to Raffles College, Singapore, to study English, Latin and history
  3. Co-founded the Women’s Institute in Kuala Lumpur (1955), and the Pan Pacific Southeast Asia Women’s Association, with Toh Puan Saadiah Sardon (1964)
  4. Founded more than 15 rural daycare centres through the Women’s Institute
  5.  Chairperson of the Selangor Women’s Institute, helped open branches in the rural areas of Selangor including kindergartens and home development workshops for Orang Asli women in Bukit Lanjan, Damansara



Khoo Salma Nasution, Alison Hayes and Sehra Yeap Zimbulis. (2010). Giving Our Best: The Story of St. George’s Girls School, Penang, 1885-2010. Penang: Areca Books.


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by Bliss Drive Review