Sweden’s retiring Honorary Consul in Penang, Dato’ Dr Rasiah Ratnalingham, has received The Order Of The Polar Star at an audience with Swedish King Carl XIV Gustaf and Queen Silvia in Stockholm.
Dr Ratnalingam, Swedish Honorary Consul in Penang since 2005 and accompanied by his wife Datin Saroya,, took part in a Consular Conference in Stockholm 4-7 May together with the Swedish Ambassador to Malaysia Bengt G Carlsson. The consuls had the opportunity to visit the Royal Castle in Stockholm and at an audience with King and Queen. Dr Ratnalingam received the Order of the Polar Star (Nordstjärneorden).
The Order of the Polar Star was until 1975 intended as a reward for Swedish and foreign “civic merits, for devotion to duty, for science, literary, learned and useful works and for new and beneficial institutions”.
After the reorganization of the orders in 1975 the order is only awarded to foreigners and members of the royal family. It is often awarded to foreign office holders (such as Prime and Senior Ministers) during Swedish state visits. It is also awarded to junior members of royal families who would not qualify for the more prestigious Royal Order of the Seraphim.