Congratulations to the Malaysian Institute of Architects which has just appointed its first female president, something our own august institution has not yet managed to do. But judging by the tone of the celebratory article in national newspaper The Star, the country still has some way to go before it can see Tan Pei Ing's appointment as anything but extraordinary. Headlining its piece 'Concrete and steel magnolia', it gushes about the fact 'that she is not only willing to dirty her shoes walking in construction sites filled with sweaty, cement-coated boorish men, but she surprises the contractors, who are mostly men, by actually checking the quality of work by scraping off mortar to find out if the brick walls have been laid properly'. And there is some discussion of her wardrobe for those demanding site visits. Somehow I can't imagine The Times becoming equally breathless about the way that Paul Hyett dresses when visiting a site.