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Farewell Message from Out-going  President,  Datin Jeanette Tambakau

Farewell Message from Out-going President, Datin Jeanette Tambakau

Good afternoon and welcome to our SWEPA  19th Annual General Meeting 2015. First and foremost, I would like to acknowledge the presence of  our   Founder & Past President, Datuk Nancy Ho and  other Past Presidents, namely  Datuk Adeline Leong, Doris Lim and Fatimah Yasin and all our members who make time to be here with us today.

In a blink of an eye, our 2 year term from July 2013 till June 2015 has come to an end. Time has flown  by as we happily carried out our colorful  activities.  Indeed, it has been an engaging year for me in my journey as the  President for SWEPA  2013-2015.  It has been a great 2 years of friendship and voluntary service to all  our dearest SWEPA members and beyond. These encounters through SWEPA activities and functions have enriched us with varied experiences and wholesome fellowship.

As  the President of SWEPA, our term has been a very  busy one and it would not have been successful without acknowledging all my Exco who have been working hard behind scene to make things happened.

I am so blessed to have such a capable , hardworking and understanding team, so full of life, laughter and high spirit . Each of our Exco member deserves a huge accolade for living up to her responsibilities and for going beyond. It is truly a joy to work with a cooperative team who think alike and who always put SWEPA first. That is why we all love SWEPA ! Thank you so much, my wonderful team !

What is SWEPA ?

As you all know, SWEPA was established 22 years ago by our  beloved Founder, Datuk Nancy Ho.

SWEPA is all about Women Empowerment – “Women Helping Women “ through Economic Empowerment and Social Empowerment.

We also have another platform to develop personal development and public speaking values through SWEPA … which is the SWEPA Toastmaster Clubs.

To this date, SWEPA is in good standing in the local community and for this,  I   need to acknowledge the ground breaking efforts of the Past Presidents and their committee members. It is indeed a great honour for me to walk in the footprints of these visionary people. They have been outstanding women, not only as world class entrepreneurs but also as great leaders . They have built up  the name of SWEPA  in  the State and   National  scenes. We have a healthy relationship with the State Government and with other NGOs, and there are many invitations from other women organizations and international organizations as well, in either participate in their events or to join them in organizing events.  We are now the choice NGO for CSR projects and a showcase for SMEs . This is indeed a prestige. This is all testament to SWEPA being respected as a professional organization.

What have we all achieved  in our term 2013-2015 ?

As a President, I am like a Captain of the Ship. I was responsible to ensure that  in everything we do, we are in line with our Vision and Mission and always work within the parameter of our association’s  objectives .

There have been many events since July 2013 for SWEPA and some of the  key activities  that  I wish to highlight are the four areas which I see members gaining from being in SWEPA  : Giving Back ,  Skills Training, Networking and Leadership.


For Giving Back , SWEPA has always been a strong advocate in giving back to the community and through that, was the birth of the Installation Charity Ball in Nov 2013. We raised sufficient funds to donate to FHI Food for the Hungry Internationals, to benefit specifically Kg Lingan Bunga Satu, Kota Marudu   and in addition, purchased our second SWEPA premises  in  2nd Floor, Tanjung Aru Plaza , Tanjung Aru, Kota Kinabalu.


SWEPA is all about the socio-economic empowerment of women and for the first time, in 2013, SWEPA have embarked an International Solar Community Project with Barefoot College in India . SWEPA tagline which was coined by our Past President, Datuk Adeline Leong, “ Women helping Women” believe women are the greatest catalyst for change around the developing world. Each women has the potential to become an agent of change. Thus, we all share a firm commitment to address climate change by providing this source renewable energy and provides the community with the means to improve their standard of living.

The main objectives of this project are two-fold :

  1. To electrify 100 homes in the remote village, and
  2. To empower illiterate rural women to be self sufficient and who can then train more women in their village to do the same.

Ladies, the initiative of this SWEPA Solar Project marks another step by SWEPA to bring development closer to the people. By providing a reliable source of energy, I have no doubt that a number of development opportunities will be unlocked. I believe the initiatives like this will continue to support the village development and increase the participation of rural village in the economics of the area.

This project has been extensively covered in Daily Express and involves  more than twelve partners . It is truly inspiring that all our partner have joined forces to provide sustainable energy for our rural people.

SWEPA has been coordinating with all the  partners for the past 2 years. This has been a massive operation for our small NGO. However, all who are in the project team are very passionate about this community project, to witness the empowerment of  illiterate our grandmother, Tarihing, who will now teach other younger women what she has learnt so that they can help her with the installation of the 100 units solar panel, and we are also passionate about bringing light to 100 families in this Kg Sonsogon Magandai.

The equipment has finally arrived in Kg Sonsogon Magandai a week ago  and we are closer to the final stage of this project. Once Tarahing has installed all the solar panels and equipments, we will organize a launch for the Solar project in August 2015. The Chief Minister of Sabah will be invited to officiate  the launch.

With this project, I am proud to say SWEPA is really living up to its name  on Socio Economic Empowerment, by not only supporting women who are already entrepreneurs and professionals but also helping those who have not had the opportunity to join their ranks to move forward into the modern world. In this project, it proves a point that  illiteracy is not an impediment to attempts at gaining knowledge and acquiring skills.

My utmost gratitude goes to the Organising Chairperson  of this project,  Past President Datuk Adeline Leong, Deputy OC  – IPP Hanaa Wong Abdullah,  Project Coordinator – Yap Li Ling , Assistant Treasurer – Geraldine Asuncion  and Committee Members –  VP Karen Wong,  Maria  Joy Rowan, Helen Morgan ( PACOS  representatives ), Kate Chin and  Pang Suk Ching ( who has recently joined in to the Committee ) . It’s indeed  all good teamwork for a good cause. We will all keep the passion going for this project.

Also,  I am proud to announce to all of you  that the Jury and Council of Board Members  of the World Sustainability Congress have confer me  with the  “Sustainability Leadership Award ”. This special feature of the World Sustainability endeavor is  Sustainability Stars” which  recognize the most eminent professionals & organizations as superlative Sustainability Leaders.

The aim of the Awards is to recognize the Best of the Best Sustainable Leaders.  At the same time, I have been offer to “SPEAK & Share Knowledge” at the conference in Mauritus in December this year. Datuk  Adeline and some committee will  be joining me to Mauritus.

I  still remember at the beginning of my  Presidency of my vision to bring SWEPA to international arena …..this piece of new just totally complete my dream in my term  and my vision for our SWEPA  Association ! This award will be dedicated to SWEPA  and all the hardworking  and committed committee. SWEPA Boleh !!


For Skills Training, The Ministry of Resource Development and Information Technology believes in developing good human capital for the State’s future manpower requirements. For this reason, the Ministry  fully support NGOs like SWEPA, which formulate training programme for building up the local community.  We are very grateful  to the Minister of  Human Resource Development & IT , YB Datuk Siringan Gubat for the funding grant  of our  eight Training Module  Series of Empowering Our Community Through Learning Quality Learning Series.  Soft skills like leadership, decision making, conflict resolution, negotiation, communication, creativity and presentation skills are essential for entrepreneurial success and for maximizing human capital in any enterprise.  I believe this eight series program have helped SWEPA to empower so many women entrepreneurs  & professionals  and men as well.

For Networking, SWEPA is a networking group and that is truly what our organization is all about. When you attend any of our events, whether it’s an early morning networking breakfast or evening event, you will find a warm and inviting group of professional women who share the same goals at heart. If you are an entrepreneur growing your business or an executive growing your contacts, SWEPA can provide you with a variety of networking opportunities, fun social events ,  events that will contribute to your professional development and  best of all, a community of friends, mentors and advisors.

 As an NGO, we are fortunate to have a phenomenal group of dedicated volunteers on the Board and the many committees that work hard to ensure the best possible membership experience.

One of the main objectives of SWEPA is to provide a platform for the development of women entrepreneurship & professionals in the state and in this, SWEPA have  continue to work closely with Majlis Penasihat Wanita Sabah, (MPWS)  and Jabatan Hal Ehwal Wanita (JHEWA) as well as other Ministries, NGOS and private sector, such as Warisan Global Sdn Bhd for Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) , which was initiated by our Past President, Dolly Jimayol.

We can continue to affiliate with other international  professional bodies around the world such as the link  with US Embassy , to assist  our members in  having stronger professional networks and training and The Cherrie Blair Foundation Mentorship Programme , which was mooted by me.

 For  Leadership , I see the opportunities for us to develop our  Leadership skills especially in joining the EXCO. I have  definitely learnt many valuable lessons as President in SWEPA. Being a Swepa member, it’s not about the individual. We have all benefited, we have all grown, we have all learned and now, we have the strongest group of women across the state and nation. Together, we all walk taller, and stronger. Our 22 years of  perseverance to educate and develop learners, many of whom have become and will continue to become leaders in various sectors of our community, have been rewarded with a precious gift.. something rare, fine and admirable – that is the rich SWEPA passion and culture. We’re not only here to be inspired ourselves, but to inspire each other. Remember, the spirit that we share here today is not provided by one person, but instead it’s been invested by every single one of us.

Once again, always leading the way,  SWEPA is very proud of Founder President Datuk Nancy Ho, who continues to pave way for women and who received an award last year, the “CEO Award – Professional Category at the Women of Excellence Awards 2014.


Throughout the last sixteen years, Swepa Toastmasters Club  has been fortunate  enough to have had a dynamic group of people who have made contributions to this organization. We were the first  Toastmaster ladies  club in Malaysia. Since it’s inception, we have produced  two (2) District Governors,  four (4) Division Governors,   seven (7)  Area Governors and five (5)  Distinguish Toastmaster (DTM) , which includes  Rosie Moo and Soo Yuen Mee who  has recently  joined the rank of Distinguish Toastmaster (DTM) Awards with  Annie Cheng, Fatimah Yasin and IPP Hanaa Wong Abdullah. Congratulation to Rosie Moo & Soo Yuen Mee !! What a great achievement for STMC in this last 2 years term !! Kudos to President Maria Chin & Wynnie Jong and their team .

All this leading women had set a goal to be role models, where members can feel motivated, dedicated and inspired by their passion in helping us to grow and reach our goals.  I firmly believe that they have set a good foundation for us, that a new leadership team can only enhance the experience in bringing club or association  to greater heights.

 With the new TERM coming, we sincerely would like to see more of you to join in many of our exciting events and also to serve as Team Players in any of our Sub-Organising Team and make your significant contributions be heard and your role be seen altogether with all our SWEPA Members. Bring your spirit full of desire to contribute and make sure it is contagious. See yourself becoming more confident to organize projects, more accomplished after our training programmes and more exposed after our study tours to other countries.

We hope to nurture more new blood to succeed many more of the tasks and duties in this coming new term. The way forward for SWEPA for the years to come, I see as a bright and brilliant time with the growth and development of our younger members who will lead the way as SWEPA continues to stay relevant and strive for excellence.

There is no tool for development which is more powerful than empowerment of women. On that note, I hope together, we have make a powerful difference in the empowerment of the members we serve through the four focus area , which is giving back, skills training, networking and leadership.

My Presidential theme in my term was To Learn – To Grow – To Lead. I hope some of you have taken  the opportunity to learn from each other, grow in your experiences and lead yourselves and your organizations well, just as I have learnt, grown and led this year.

Thank you to all of you lovely and warm hearted ladies for this beautiful opportunity of serving you as your President. It has been a meaningful and the most fulfilling time for me this last 2 years. Thank you ladies.

Best wishes and god bless.

Datin Jeanette Tambakau.

 To Learn. To Grow. To Lead




About swepa

Sabah Women Entrepreneurs and Professionals Association (SWEPA) is a Non-Governmental Organisation where formation was spearheaded by the Economic Committee of the Sabah Women’s Advisory Council in March 1993. It was registered with the Registrar of Societies in May 1994.

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