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BATU GAJAH, April 19 -- A.Annamah, who is Malaysia’s oldest woman after turning 110 on March 31, came from India more than 90 years ago as a rubber tapper but, as fate would have it, ended up becoming a midwife who helped deliver more than 700 babies during her younger days, regardless of race and religion.
In sharing her life’s journey, the centenarian, who is well-versed in Indian traditional herbs, said she came to Malaysia at the age of 19 and worked as a rubber tapper in the Kinta Valley Estate, while also treating sick workers and acting as a midwife.
"I became a midwife at the age of 18 and learned how to deliver babies from my mother and grandmother in India. That’s why the Kinta Valley Estate women trusted me and sought my services in midwifery.
"From Batu Gajah to Tanjong Tualang, all estate workers know me, regardless of race,” she told Bernama in Tamil, which was translated by her 41-year-old grandson, Ezhilan.
She said that when she was a midwife, she was very close to the locals and missed the communal and harmonious environment that she was used to, regardless of race, thus she loved and cared for others as if they were her family.
"Those days, my Chinese and Malay neighbours could speak fluent Tamil and, during festive seasons, they would come to my house to borrow saree from me.
"I miss that era. My children enjoyed playing with our neighbour's children. We were very close to each other,” she said.
Annamah also hoped that the spirit of goodwill and unity that she once felt would be continued by the current generation in creating a harmonious and peaceful country.
Last month, the Malaysia Book by Records recognised Annamah as the oldest woman in Malaysia.