Marina Mahathir knighted with France's top award

Ambassador Penot congratulating a beaming Marina at the award ceremony.

KUALA LUMPUR: France has recognised the work of activist Datin Paduka Marina Mahathir by making her a Knight (Chevalier) of the Legion of Honour, the highest award of the nation.

The award was conferred on Marina at a ceremony on Wednesday that was also attended by her ­parents Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Mohamad Ali, family, friends, and fellow activists, at the French Ambassador's residence here.

Ambassador Christophe Penot said in his speech that the award was given to Marina for her work and for her connection to France.

"As a prominent public figure in the country, she lent her voice and charisma to many causes," said Penot of Marina, citing her work with the Malaysian AIDS Council and with migrants as examples.

He added that a quality in Marina that the French admired was her courage to speak her mind.

"We are impressed by the fact that while you are deeply appreciative of French culture, it did not stop you from speaking your mind," he said.

Marina said that she was grateful and humbled to be a recipient of the Legion of Honour, which in the past has been awarded to former Malaysian Bar president Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan and Sisters In Islam co-founder Zainah Anwar.