When we talk about spy, the most prominent spy to pop into our heads is James Bond, agent 007. He is cool, good-looking, and he makes an excellent spy. Plus, he possesses a charm that can swoon women. However, little did many know that Malaysia has her own cool spy, and it was back in the 1950s to boot. How cool is that! Meet our very own real life Bond Girl, Blossom Wong.
Born Wong Kooi Fong, ‘Blossom’ was a name given by a neighbour because of her green thumb. Since then, the nickname stuck throughout her career as a police officer and she eventually made it her official name.
After completing her Senior Cambridge exams, she applied for police training in the 1950s without her father’s knowledge as he wanted her to be a teacher. At that time, women mostly worked as secretaries or teachers. But Wong was a tomboy who was active in sports, debate, and geographical societies in school. “To me, teaching is boring, and to become a secretary, well you have to please your boss, and you cannot go out of the office. I’m an outdoor person,” she told New Straits Times.
After seeing a uniformed policewoman on Jalan Sultan Ismail looking smart while patrolling, she was inspired to join the force. “In the front seat was a lady officer and she had a cap on. She looked so smart. She looked at me and smiled and from that moment, I was sold. I would be a policewoman,” she said. Another reason she had for joining the police is to ‘ronda’ (go around) Kuala Lumpur in a police car every day.
Wong got in on 1 August 1957. It was not easy considering that police training requires strenuous exercises, but her hardest hurdle is to learn Bahasa Melayu from scratch. Nonetheless, she aced and after six months of training, Wong was chosen to join the Special Branch (SB) as an Inspector in Penang.
According to a blog, Wong was tasked with disguising herself in order to obtain information on the communist movement. Thanks to her petite frame and often dressed in cheongsam, she was never caught by the communists. Even the police did not know she was a spy when she was in her disguise.
But being a spy is not all fun and game. Wong has to sacrifice her social life in order not to blow her cover. She was not allowed to hang out with other uniformed officers for fear of her identity being revealed. She was not even able to wear the Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) uniform at all.
After four years in Penang, she was transferred to Ipoh and became an assistant are inspector with five police station under her. In 1962, she got married and was transferred to her hometown, Kuala Lumpur. There, she became a prosecuting officer in the magistrate’s and juvenile courts.
At this time, she was often given the responsibility of escorting many VVIPs and dignitaries. Some of these famous figures were the President of South Korea’s wife, Park Chung-Hee; the Prime Minister of Japan, Eisaku Sato; the Attorney General of USA Robert F. Kennedy and his wife, Ethel, and many more.
Albert Mah, the then Kuala Lumpur district police chief, proposed that Wong join the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) unit as he believed that the Black Market, Vice, and Gambling Branch (now known as anti-vice branch), could use Wong’s undercover expertise to obtain vital information to take down the rampant illegal activities in Kuala Lumpur. Back then, the CID unit was known as Delta 7 (D7) in 1966.
Wong worked with the ‘Black Cats’ in undercover operations to crack down prostitution centres swarmed with local girls, some of them underage. She and her team successfully raided many infamous brothels in Jalan Ampang, Jalan Walter Grenier, Jalan Alor, and many more, causing the mama-sans (pimps) to fear her.
Impressed with operation, the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Tan Sri Hanif Omar called Wong to lead PDRM’s first Rape Investigation Unit. Wong and her team received training on the use of DNA technology from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, pioneering the use of DNA evidence in local criminal investigations.
After 36 years of service, Wong retired in 1993 as a superintendent of police. She now spends her time with her daughter who is a veterinarian and has also returned to gardening.