Mahathir's wife Siti Hasmah and Anwar's wife Wan Azizah meet for first time in 18 years

Tun Dr Mahathir's wife, Tun Siti Hasmah Mohamad Ali, paid a visit to the home of Anwar's wife, Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail on Friday (Nov 4).
Tun Dr Mahathir's wife, Tun Siti Hasmah Mohamad Ali, paid a visit to the home of Anwar's wife, Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail on Friday (Nov 4). PHOTO: KHAIRUDDIN ABU HASSAN

PETALING JAYA - When their husbands - bitter political enemies for 18 years - met and shook hands, it set tongues wagging about a reconciliation.

Two months after that unprecedented meeting between former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and jailed opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, it was their wives' turn.

Last Friday (Nov 4), Tun Dr Mahathir's wife, Tun Siti Hasmah Mohamad Ali, paid a visit to the home of Anwar's wife, Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, at the edge of Kuala Lumpur, The Star reported.

Dr Siti Hasmah was accompanied by former Batu Kawan Umno deputy chief Datuk Seri Khairuddin Abu Hassan during the meeting, which lasted about 45 minutes.

The meeting marked the first time Dr Wan Azizah and Dr Siti Hasmah had seen each other face-to-face in 18 years.

According to a statement by Mr Khairuddin, Dr Wan Azizah was very cordial towards her guest and greeted Dr Siti Hasmah with a tight hug and a few tears.

"Many sweet memories and old stories were narrated by Datuk Seri Wan Azizah and Tun Siti during the brief time I spent with them both," he said.

Mr Khairuddin said Dr Wan Azizah had shared a funny story of the time she was "forced" to team up with Dr Siti Hasmah while playing doubles badminton.

"Meanwhile, Tun Siti laughed heartily while recounting how she had accidentally run into Datuk Seri Wan Azizah at an airport and immediately proceeded to take Datuk Seri Wan Azizah's ring off her finger and wear it herself. Tun Siti said she was fond of Datuk Seri Wan Azizah's ring," said Mr Khairuddin.

At the end of the meeting, Mr Khairuddin said that the two exchanged gifts.

"Tun Siti presented her personal memoir to Datuk Seri Wan Azizah while Datuk Seri Wan Azizah presented goat's milk products for Tun Siti Hasmah's health," he said.

Anwar served as Dr Mahathir's deputy prime minister before being sacked in 1998. He was later charged with sodomy.

In September, Dr Mahathir turned up at the Kuala Lumpur High Court attend the hearing of an application filed by Anwar to challenge the National Security Council (NSC) Act 2016.

It was the first time that the two leaders had met face-to-face since Anwar's sacking.