KUALA LUMPUR: Selangor Princess Tengku Zatashah Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah was conferred with France’s highest distinction “Legion d’Honneur” by French President Francois Hollande.
French Ambassador to Malaysia Christophe Penot handed over the title to the Sultan of Selangor’s daughter in an official ceremony at the French Residence here tonight.
He said the conferment of the highest distinction of honour signified recognition from the French government towards Tengku Zatashah for the important role she played as president of Alliance Francaise de Kuala Lumpur over the past five years and vice-president prior to that since 2009.
“The award received by Tengku Zatashah was timely to mark the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Malaysia and France this year,” he said at the conferment ceremony,
In 2013, Tengku Zatashah was selected to represent Malaysia and Asia at the Fondation Alliance Francaise for a talk on culture. She also had the opportunity to meet the French president at the Palais de l’Élysée for Alliance Francaise’s 130th anniversary celebration.
Alliance Francaise de Kuala Lumpur is a non-profit organisation established in 1961 as the official French culture and language centre in Malaysia.
The Legion of Honour is France’s highest honour, created in 1802 by Napoleon Bonaparte.
The Order rewards men and women, French or foreigners, for exemplary services rendered to France or to the causes supported by France.
Penot said Tengku Zatashah also worked for five years at L’Oreal headquarters in Paris in International Corporate Communications. She studied in Paris at La Sorbonne University as well as obtained her Master’s degree at the American Graduate School in Paris.
Tengku Zatashah, married to Frenchman Aubry Rahim Mennesson, has also completed her Finance for Executives programme at the French business school, Insead.
Present at the ceremony were Sultan of Selangor Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah and Tengku Permaisuri Selangor Tengku Permaisuri Norashikin, Raja Muda Selangor Tengku Amir Shah and Selangor Menteri Besar Mohd Azmin Ali.
Tengku Zatashah, who speaks French fluently, said she was greatly honoured to accept the prestigious award and hoped the relationship between Malaysia and France would continue to strengthen.