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6th January 2011: Past International Director Ellis Suriyati was featured in "WANITA CEMERLANG" on the most popular Malaysian female magazine, Mingguan Wanita.

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Short Listed in Sarawak Government Datuk Patinggi Laila Taib Award - Woman Social Activities Award

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Selamat Hari Raya 2010

PID Ellis Suriyati - Lions Magazine issue July/August 2010 at Page 16-17
Date:15 Aug 2010

Click here to view the online version - Lions Magazine

Malaysia Star Metro Newspaper interview

Monday June 7, 2010

Ellis the ‘Lion’ heart



WHEN you walk into Ellis Suriyati Omar’s office at Rock Road in Kuching, you can immediately sense what she is passionate about - Lionism.

Awards, photographs, memorabilia and souvenirs in all shapes and sizes from Lions Clubs all around the world decorate her office walls from top to bottom.

Every shelf and coffee table space have been used up as well. Even the floor is not spared. It is obvious that she treasures every single thing concerning Lions.

My collections: Ellis Suriyati showing all her souvenirs and awards received.

In April 1995, Ellis created history when she was voted into office as District Governor for 1995-1996 at the 12th Sub-District Convention in Ipoh as the first lady in Asia to hold the position. She is currently an international director.

The fifth child out of nine children, Ellis, 57 has come a long way and is always on the move.

As a student, she helped her neighbour and parents sell ‘nasi lemak’ and rambutans at her school canteen and by the beach in Port Dickson, Negri Sembilan. She also represented the country in the doubles in tennis.

After completing her secondary school, she decided to work in a bank. However, it was only for less than a year as she found that desk job was boring. Later she worked as a stewardess for Malaysia Airlines for five years.

Her posting to Sarawak in 1973 was a blessing as she met the love of her life, Zaidi K Zainie, a lawyer and senior government officer and they are now blessed with three children.

While her husband furthered his studies in London in the 1980s, she took up a diploma course in beauty therapy and started a beauty centre in Kuching when they returned to home.

In 2003, at the age of 50, she graduated with a degree in Bachelor of Management with first class honours from University Tun Abdul Razak and was a recipient of 1st Chancellor’s Award (Gold Medal) from the university. Juggling her duties as a wife, mother, Lions and social activist, Ellis never has a dull moment.

Her zeal and commitment to every Lionistic task is legendary and indisputable. She embarks on every task with total commitment, enthusiasm and dedication.

For her dedicated services over the years, Ellis had received numerous Lions Club International awards. In 2002, the Sarawak Government awarded her with “Jasamu Dikenang” for her contributions in women development and non-governmental organisations.

At Lions Club International’s Board of Directors Meeting in Hamburg, Germany recently, her service and humanitarian work through Lions earned her the Lions Club International Ambassador of Goodwill Award. Elated and humbled by the recognition, she talks to StarMetro about her journey in Lions.

Q: Why did you join Lions and what motivated you to serve after so many years?

A: I join Lioness Club of Miri, that’s what it was called back then, in 1979. Lioness Carina Dundang brought me into the movement. In 1988, Lions changed its policy and accepted Lioness to be Lions. I think Lionism is in my blood.

When I was young, I used to see my mother, Mariam Daim helping the villagers in my hometown, Kampung Teluk Kemang in Port Dickson, Negri Sembilan. She would give some rice or sugar to our needy neigbhours. She was a teacher while my late father, Omar Yassin was a headmaster, so in those days, my family was slightly better off than some others. My mother also gave some pocket money to needy students. I also observed the same kindness my mother showered to my siblings and I.

That’s why some Lions said that my blood type is L for Lions not O. I basically eat, sleep and live for Lions - it’s a way of life. It’s my full time ‘job’. Lions are my closest friends and they are second to my heart after my family. Lions are very supportive people and believe in doing things for a good cause. In Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei region, we have about 10,000 members including about 900 in Sarawak.

Q: Recently, you were awarded with Lions’ highest individual award in Hamburg, Germany. What does the award mean to you and Lions in Malaysia?

A: The award was given for my efforts in promoting international peace, goodwill and understanding and humanitarian work with Lions for 30 years.

I feel very happy and proud because all my hardwork, sweat and tears were finally recognised. I hope this award will inspire other Lions here and all over the world to do more and motivate to serve those in need during calamities like typhoons, tsunamis and earthquakes in any parts of the world.

Q: What is your most memorable experience serving in Lions?

A: I don’t think I have one because all are very memorable to me.

But the most memorable board meeting had to be the one in April because we were stranded in Hamburg due to the volcanic ash cloud. After the board meeting, my husband and I were supposed to fly to London for a holiday but we were stranded in Hamburg.

I was depressed but he calmed me down and we ended up having a relaxing time in Hamburg and spending more time with each other.

Other than that, I was very touched with one of the cataract operations by Lions China - the smiling faces of patients when they regained their eyesight really touched my heart.

Last December, I was in the Phillippines with other Lions to help typhoon victims and what I saw opened my eyes. Those affected lived in shacks built along riverbanks and as you walk through them, the smell was unbearable.

We handed out about 600 sacks of rice to the people and they were so grateful to us. When I returned home, my arms were very sore from carrying the sacks of rice, but it was worth it.

The more sufferings you see, the more humble you become and that’s how I feel. Unfortunately, there are many wealthy people but they do not want to serve. Until you give, you will know what giving means and that is sharing and caring for others. Wherever I go for Lions, I’m proud to represent Malaysia and Sarawak and will carry our flags with pride, and at the same time, help to promote Sarawak to the world.

Q: In 1995, it was reported in the news that you planned to write a book on your journey in Lions. What’s the progress of the book?

A: I completed writing it in 1997 but I haven’t had the time to look for an editor to go through it and a publisher. That will be the first edition. My term as an international director will end in the coming convention in Sydney, Australia end of this month.

After serving for two terms, I even have more things to share. There are not many women in Lions holding this position. I am the first women from Southeast Asia to be an international director. Out of 34 international directors, only five are women.

Women rarely get elected because of lower membership compared with men, that is about 290,000 out of 1.3mil worldwide. But still Lions give women the opportunity to lead based on their ability and capability.

Q: What’s your plan after the 93rd Annual Lions Clubs International Convention in Sydney?

A: Since I will have more time, I will spend more time with my family especially with my mother who is now 81, and of course, have my book edited and published, and write my another memoir as an international director. I will continue to work with Lions Nursing Home and focus on its extension project serve the old folk.

I was just re-elected as the chairperson last night (Thursday night). As an international director, I have no free weekends because I’m either here or overseas doing Lions’ work.

Q: Do you plan to open a museum or gallery to keep all of your Lions’ mementos that you’ve collected over the years?

A: I’m actually thinking of doing that - perhaps a gallery next to my house. I have a lot more of souvenirs and awards kept at home.

Q: Is your husband a members of Lions?

A: Sadly, he is not. He said he doesn’t have to be a Lions to serve. But I can tell you that he has served more than some Lions that I know. He’s very supportive in my Lionistic works and encourages me to do more. He also helps me out a lot including managing our property and real estate business. He talks like a Lions and knows every protocol of Lionism. He is my pillar of strength.

Q: What is the future like for Lions in Malaysia?

A: We now are looking for new blood especially young professionals to join the club because we need new ideas and mindset as well as IT-savvy members. It’s a very competitive world out there. We have New Century Lions Club that caters for the young or Generation X and Y. Members are between 18 and 35 years old.

I hope more young people will become Lions.

Source From: Malaysia Star Metro Newspaper

Ambassador of Good Will Award

Ellis Suriyati Omar
220 Twin Tower Centre
Rock Road 93200
Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia.
Tel:      Bus: (60-82) 428468
            Res: (60-82) 447767
Fax:     (60-82) 410528
Cell:    (60-19) 8886555

Ambassador of Good Will Award
International Director Hjh Ellis Suriyati Hj Omar

Dear Lions of the World,


I am indeed honoured and priviledge to receive the Highest Lion Clubs International Award - The Ambassador of Good Will Award from our Lion Clubs International President Eberhard J Wirfs During the Board Meeting held in Hamburg recently.

This award is dedicated to all the Lions in MD 308 and Lions of the world who had travelled together with me in my 30 years of Lionistic journey in furthering the Lions Clubs International Vision - to be global leader in community and humanitarian service and Lions Clubs International Mission - to empower volunteers to serve their communities, meet humanitarian needs, encourage peace and promote international understanding through Lions Clubs.

I am indebted to my family and my husband Hj. Zaidi without which my Lionistic work will not be possible and like many other Lions, I am very fortunate and blessed to be able to give more than half of my life to the cause of Lionism.

Thank you all for your support, love and confidence in me.

I am proud to be a Lion!

God Bless.

ID Ellis Suriyati Omar (2008-2010)

Chinese New Year 2010

Ellis Suriyati Omar
220 Twin Tower Centre
Rock Road 93200
Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia.
Tel:      Bus: (60-82) 428468
            Res: (60-82) 447767
Fax:     (60-82) 410528
Cell:    (60-19) 8886555

Thank You – SF Cataract Mission Guangdong, China

My Dear Friends,

I hope you have had enough rest after our hectic journey recently. The SF Cataract Mission to Guangdong, China from 10th – 16th October was a most memorable and unforgettable experienced to all of us. These are the fruits of hardwork and determination that we enjoy as we work so passionately in our mission together as a team.

I wish to express my sincere thank and appreciation to each individual Lions who have made this journey possible. A total of 170 cataract operations were performed successfully ranging from a 101 year old male patient to a 12 year old girl who had their cataracts removed.

A total sum of USD20,000 were raised and handed over to President LC of Guangming Ln Chen Hui Hong during the Opening Ceremony. We are honoured to have DG Raymond Wei of District 381 Guangdong, China and IPDG Jeff Huang for being with us throughout the fellowship and the project itself. Thank you for your kind hospitality and generosity showered to all of us.

The success of this SF Journey was an achievement to all of us and for our Association as it represents your commitment to save the sight of 170 patients in Conghua, China. We were amazed by the miracle works performed by Ln Dr. Lu Yu Jian of Guangming LC in the operating theater together with his nurses. I was informed that he had already operated more than 2000 cataracts last year. It’s a Miracle!

Some Lions even had the opportunity to witness the operation which was done in less than 10 minutes!

I hope you feel proud in the role you played as I had with you in this great accomplishments.

I have enjoyed your companionship in service through Lionism and I am grateful and thankful to each and everyone of you particularly to my sister clubs President Chen Hui Hong LC of Guangming and all her members for taking care of us during the visit.

To Lion Maggie Feng, my main coordinator in China, I expressed my personal gratitude for all the sacrifice you made.

To all the participating Lions Clubs from Philippines, Taiwan, Singapore and Malaysia thank you for your support and generous contributions in this humanitarian project. You are our “Everyday Heroes”!

To President Wu Chieh Wen of LC of Kwang Jung, Taiwan, thank you for the sponsorship of 100 pcs of white and green caps.

Our utmost appreciation to the Local Council China Government for the close cooperation and support given to our LCI programs and activities.

As your International Director, I know it was through your sheer hard work and dedication that made this miracle possible. You are truly “Knights of the Blinds”.

On behalf of Int. Board of Directors, I thank you sincerely for sharing this great moment of our lives with the less fortunate beyond our boundaries.

Lets Move Together to Grow with more Actions to enrich the lives of others and to provide even greater humanitarian service.

ID Ellis Suriyati Omar

Click here to view SF Cataract Mission Guangdong, China's Photos

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Ellis Suriyati Omar
220 Twin Tower Centre
Rock Road 93200
Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia.
Tel:      Bus: (60-82) 428468
            Res: (60-82) 447767
Fax:     (60-82) 410528
Cell:    (60-19) 8886555

Dear Lions of the world !

Greetings from Kuching – Sarawak – Land of Hornbills.

As you would have known, I was successfully elected by Lions of the world as International Director for 2008 – 2010.

Indeed it’s a great honour for our MD 308 ( Malaysia – Singapore – Brunei ) and OSEAL Areas to have it’s First Women ID Elected in OSEAL Areas.

Althrough it has taken me nearly 30 years to reach the 91st International Convention held in Bangkok, I have no complaint. This is because, like many of you. I have enjoyed every moment of service, fellowship and friendship in the many Lionistic roles our great movement has given me.

I am grateful for your support and faith in me and as an International Director, I will always do what is best for the association as a whole and to present your interest on an international level and to provide assistance in handling local issues as well. I will do my level best to serve our Association through this miracles journey of service.

I have been appointed as Committee Member (5) of Districts and Clubs Services Committee.

My Committee is to provide direction and recommend Policy for the successful administration and operation of districts and clubs throughout the world with special attention to young, small, undistracted or declining clubs also clubs with problems, and club mergers as well as district in need of redistricting and also to establish policy for the association language problems and its operation.

This year, we have 6 Women International Directors who served in the Board and according to Imm. Past Int. President Amarasuriya, we created history as it’s the biggest number of women IDs ever serve.

Fellow Lions, my journey would not have been possible if not because of the support from my husband Hj Zaidi and my family. They are my source of inspiration and pillars of strength. I sincerely hope that through my achievements in this esteemed organization, I will inspire more women to come forward to join as members.

As Lions, we should be proud of this little act humanitarian kindness but they amounted to “Miracles Through Service” as International President Al Brandel’s theme for this year, 2008-2009. Let us join hands in molding our vision to help the less fortunate and to be the forerunners in humanitarian works. We are the best NGO in the world! You have changed their lives for the better, in the process we enriched our own lives as much as we enriched those we served. You are truly “Everyday Heroes” making miracles through service.

In conclusion, let us join hands to embark on our miraculous journey of service and I look forward to many more years of serving with you.

Thank You.

Yours – in – Service

International Director Ellis Suriyati Omar

Click here to download the Message. Page1 and Page2

:: Biodata




  • Company Director – ZKZ Property Sdn. Bhd
  • Businesswoman (Real Estate)


Bachelor of Management (First Class Honours)Recipient of 1st Chancellor’s Award (Gold Medal) University Tun Abd. Razak.


Retired in 2003 as Permanent Secretary,
Ministry of Industrial Development, Sarawak
Director, ZKZ Property Sdn. Bhd


  • ELZADINI ZAIDI (Bachelor of Business Management, Auckland University of Technology)
  • ELMADINI ZAIDI (Bachelor of Commerce , University of Auckland)
  • MOHD. EHSAN ZAIDI (College Tuanku Jaafar, Negeri Sembilan)


  • STATE AWARD “ABK” (Ahli Bintang Kenyalang) by Tuan Yang Terutama of Sarawak.
  • AWARDED “JASAMU DIKENANG” by Ministry of Social & Women Welfare Development, Sarawak for her contributions in Women NGO and activities.
  • AWARDED “AMBASSADOR FOR PEACE” by Universal Peace Federation.

1979     :           Joined Lioness Club of Miri
1980     :           Served as Secretary Miri Lioness Club
1981     :           Joined Lioness Club of Kuching
1982-1987 :       Served in the B.O.D as 1st VP, 2nd VP and Tail Twister





Charter President, Lions Club of Kuching City
DC-Diabetes/Drug Awareness, Sarawak

DC-Membership Development/Club Extension, Sarawak.
Zone Chairman
Region Chairman

District Chairman- Leos Clubs 308A
Vice District Governor 308A
District Governor 308A

Multiple District 308 Leo Chairman
Multiple District 308, Sight First Chairman

District Governor 308-A2
Project Chairman- SF 586 –Cataract Intervention Campaign
(Kelantan & Sarawak)

DC International Understanding for District 308-A2
DC International Understanding for District 308-A2

DC International Understanding for District 308-A2
MD 308 Extension Chairman (3 years)
MD 308 Extension Chairman (1 year)

Council Chairperson of MD 308 (Malaysia-Singapore-Brunei)
MD 308 – Committee Chairman, Women Membership Development and Participation
Campaign SightFirst- II National/Multi-National Coordinator - Area V-11A (Malaysia & Brunei)


  • Chairman of Lions Nursing Home, Kuching (1994 to date).
  • COC-Vice Chairman of the 30th MD 308 Lions Convention – Kuching, Sarawak (April, 1992)
  • In May, 1998, Organising Chairman for Lens Crafters Mission from USA for Kuching and Serian District. “Give the Gift of Sight”. More than 8,000 recycled spectacles distributed to the needy.
  • Serving as a panelist at the Feature Seminar of the 39th OSEAL Forum – Pusan, Korea.
  • Leading the cultural performance representing MD 308 at 39th OSEAL Forum- Pusan, Korea (2000)  and 41st OSEAL Forum – Hong Kong.(2002)
  • Convention Chairman of the 42nd MD 308 Lions Convention – Miri, Sarawak. (April,2004)
  • Chairman of Lions Leadership Institute of District 308-A2.


  • International Convention held in: -
1994           - Oregon, USA
1995           - Seoul, Korea
1996           - Montreal, Canada
1998           - Birmingham, England
1999           - San Diego, USA
2000     - Hawaii, USA
2003     - Denver, USA
2005     - Hong Kong
2006     - Boston, USA
2007     - Chicago, USA
2008     - Bangkok, Thailand

  • OSEAL Forum held in: -
1992           - Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
1995           - Hong Kong
1996           - Taipei, Taiwan
1997           - Manila, Philippines
1998           - Yokohama, Japan
1999           - Singapore
2000     - Pusan, Korea
2002     - Hong Kong
2003     - Taipei, Taiwan
2005     - Sendai, Japan
2006     - Penang, Malaysia
2007     - Daegu, Korea

  • MD 308 Convention.

Attended more than 20 MD 308 Conventions held in Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Johor Bahru, Ipoh, Genting Highland, Kota Kinabalu, Kuching, Sibu, Miri, Malacca, Selangor.

  • Others MD Convention.

Attended MD 354 Korea Convention held in Seoul,Korea (May,1996)

Attended MD 307 Indonesia Convention, held in Bali (May, 2005)

Attended MD 307 Indonesia Convention, held in Batam Island (May, 2007)

Attended MD 307 Indonesia Convention, held in Surabay (May,2008) also as Convention Guest Speaker.


  • Attended DG-Elect School held at Seoul, Korea (June 1995)
  • Attended SightFirst Training in Chiengmai, Thailand (Feb, 1998)
  • Attended DG-Elect Seminar held at St. Charles, Chicago (April, 1998)
  • Attended DG Elect School, held at Birmingham, England (July,1998)
  • Attended MER Seminar held in Chiengmai, Thailand (1999)
  • Attended MERL Seminar held in Hong Kong (2002)
  • Attended the 1st Steering Committee Meeting of OSEAL Forum, Manila (December, 2004)
  • Attended CSF-II Orientation Seminar in Osaka, Japan (April, 2005).
  • Attended CSF-II Orientation Seminar for Sector Coordinator, Pattaya (July, 2005)
  • Attended CSF-II for Sector Coordinator Meeting Area V, Pattaya (December, 2005)
  • Attended 1st Streering Committee Meeting of Oseal Forum, Hong Kong (March, 2008)


  • Vice President of Malaysian Netball Association (PBJM)
  • President of Sarawak Netball Association (2nd Term).
  • Past Chairman, DUBS Kuching Division (Women Entrepreneurship)
  • Past President, Kuching Netball Association.
  • Serving as Patron for UNITAR, Alumni Kuching, Sarawak


Lioness of the Year –1979 Miri Lioness Club

Lions Clubs International 100% President Award – 1989

Lions Clubs International Clubs Extension Award – 1989

Lions Clubs International Melvin Jones Fellow Award – 4th Diamond.

District Governor Appreciation Award – 1989/1990, 1990/1991, 1991/1992, 1993/1994, 1994/1995, 1996/1997, 1997/1998, 1998/1999, 1999/2000, 2000/2001, 2001/2002, 2002/2003, 2003/2004, 2004/2005.

International President Certificate of Appreciation 1991/1992

Lions Clubs International Extension Award Certificate for Leo Club Sponsorship – 1993/1994

International President Certificate of Appreciation - 1994/1995

Lions Club International Extension Award Certificate for Leo Club – 1995/1996

Lions Clubs International – DG Extension Award Certificate for Leo Club – 1995/1996

Lions Clubs International – DG Excellence Award- 1995/1996

International President Leadership Torch Extension Award – 1995/1996 (IP Dr. William H. Wunder)

International President – DG Extension Award – 1995/1996

Lions Clubs International President Medal – 1996/1997 (President Augustine Soliva)

Top Ten International Understanding Award – 1996/1997

Lions Clubs International – DG Extension Membership Growth Award – 1998/1999

Lions Clubs International Extension Award Certificate for Leo Club Sponsorship- 1998/1999

Lions Clubs International – DG Excellence Award – 1998/1999

Lions Club International President Medal - 1996/1997 (IP Augustine Soliva)

Lions Clubs International - Leadership Award 2003/2004 (IP Dr. Tae Sup Lee)

Lions Clubs International – President Medal 2003/2004 (IP Dr. Tae Sup Lee.)

Lions Clubs International – President Medal 2007/2008 (IP Mahendra Amarasuriya)

Lions Clubs International – President Medal 2008/2009 (IP Albert F.  Brandel)