Kuala Lumpur-based MISC Berhad has given command of an LNG carrier to its first female captain.

The appointment of Captain Eezmaira Sazzea binti Shaharuzzaman as master of the 153,000-cbm Seri Bikaksana (built 2008) is a landmark moment for the Malaysian company, which has been actively seeking to increase the participation of women in its seagoing workforce for well over a decade.

Eezmaira Sazzea was among the first group of Malaysian women selected to pursue professional maritime training in Akademi Laut, Malaysia, also known as the Malaysian Maritime Academy, when the institution first opened its door to female cadets in 2006.

She graduated from the academy in 2011 with a diploma in nautical studies and has been sailing as a deck officer for MISC’s in-house ship management company Eaglestar for the past 10 years.

The newly appointed captain said in a media statement that she viewed her new position as the master of an LNG carrier as a recognition of her capability and professionalism.

“I am very grateful and honoured to be the first Malaysian female master mariner in Eaglestar and it will certainly be an exciting journey for me in this new role,” she said.

“I hope that this will inspire my fellow women seafarers to strive for greater accomplishments as we continue to add value to the global maritime industry.”

Captain Eezmaira Sazzea binti Shaharuzzaman's first command is the 153,000-cbm LNG carrier Seri Bijaksana. Photo: MHB

Eaglestar managing director and chief executive Peter Liew, said Eezmaira Sazzea’s appointment was a proud moment for both him and the company.

“Eaglestar believes in fostering a dynamic and inclusive workplace for all our employees at sea and shore, and this includes providing equal opportunities and empowering our female seafarers to rise together with the workforce and realise their fullest potential,” Liew said.

“We look forward to her future successes in leading her crew in the years ahead and we hope that this accomplishment will pave the way for more female seafarers to follow in her footsteps.”

Also congratulating the new captain was MISC president and group chief executive Yee Yang Chien, who said the company believed that diversity and inclusion was fundamental to its core values and strategic business goals.

“In shaping the workforce of the future, we are committed to building a sustainable talent pipeline that will drive the progress for the maritime and energy industry,” Yee said.

With an increasing number of women passing through the Malaysian Maritime Academy and up the ranks on MISC’s ships, more are expected to take the helms of its ships in the future.