Mahathir's wife 'first to support him' as PM

Tun Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali, seen here arriving at an election rally last week, says that aged 91 and 92, she and her husband avoid an over-hectic programme.
Tun Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali, seen here arriving at an election rally last week, says that aged 91 and 92, she and her husband avoid an over-hectic programme.PHOTO: REUTERS

PETALING JAYA • Her eyesight isn't as sharp, and she's not as energetic as before. But Tun Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali will be "the first one" to support her husband if he becomes Malaysia's prime minister again.

The 91-year-old wife of Pakatan Harapan chairman and opposition leader Mahathir Mohamad candidly shared that she "hesitated at first" and questioned whether her husband, who had served 22 years as Malaysia's fourth prime minister, really wanted to be the country's seventh prime minister.

"He said it's very simple. It is his duty to the country and to Malaysians to become PM7 if they wanted him to do so. So, if it is fated and God willing, he will do his job. And I will be the first one to support him," she said at the headquarters of opposition Parti Keadilan Rakyat.

Dr Siti Hasmah added that she will also have to "look after" Tun Mahathir, 92, who was prime minister from 1981 to 2003.She has been accompanying her husband to political events and said the opposition has received a positive response from the people.

As for Dr Mahathir's health, Dr Siti Hasmah ensures his programme isn't too hectic. "We try to keep late events at intervals," she said. She added that they also refrain from overeating, have regular rest and stay hydrated to take care of their voices.

"It is important to meet people and attend events. But now, we have to be selective because we are no longer young," she said.

THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on April 22, 2018, with the headline 'Mahathir's wife 'first to support him' as PM'. Print Edition | Subscribe