Programme Manager Women’s Empowerment and Leadership/ Public Health Physician, Penang Women’s Development Corporation

Dr Selva Pillai is a Malaysian doctor who has spent a good 14 years of her life in East Malaysia with a wide exposure to rural communities, community health and challenges. She also holds a First Class Honours in Zoology (Conservation and Biodiversity) from National University of Malaysia. However, frequent contact with isolated and marginalized communities lead her to take up Medicine, pioneer batch at UNIMAS, Sarawak.

She is also a social activist and was involved in taking issues of rights and ethics in the context of the Orang Asli health in West Malaysia. She left the civil service in 2011, and was eventually awarded the French Government scholarship to pursue Masters in Public Health in the prestigious EHESP, majoring in Humanitarian Health and Epidemiology.

She was in France for 3 years, and upon returning home was in private practice shortly, before deciding that community work is what she was made for. She is well respected by peers and is known to be bold in her views and actions. She has severe allergic reactions to mismanagement, poor structures, corruption, bureaucratic insecurities and unjust policies.