Malaysian Bar Council President Ambiga Sreenevasan, an ethnic Indian, is one of the eight women who received the prestigious 'women of courage' award from Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton in US.
Sreenevasan, who has been at the forefront of the civil liberties movement in Malaysia, was present at the ceremony in Washington on Monday, The Star newspaper said.
The Malaysian women's bodies have hailed Sreenevasan's award as a recognition in the international arena for taking a firm stand on national issues such as judicial independence, gender equality and good governance.
Chew Mei Fun, Malaysian Chinese Association women's wing chief, said Sreenevasan was "a living proof of this".
"Ambiga's efforts should not only be viewed from a gender perspective as a woman, but as a Malaysian individual who champions justice and equality," Chew said.
Ethnic Indians, an estimated two million-plus, form about eight percent of Malaysia's multi-racial population of 28 million.