Friday, July 10, 2015
the boy from the paddy fields state
Siti Hasmah hurts for ‘the boy from the paddy fields state’
July 10, 2015
The wife of the former PM says she feels bad when political opponents call Mahathir Mohamad a “traitor”.
PETALING JAYA: Unflinching in her support for her husband Dr Mahathir Mohamad, the former prime minister of Malaysia, Dr.Siti Hasmah Ali said she felt “bad” when opponents of his called him a traitor for “speaking up” about the political situation in the country, she told Malaysiakini during an exclusive interview with them on Monday this week.
Referring to her husband endearingly as “the boy from the paddy fields state” (Kedah), Siti Hasmah also said, “No one else wants to speak up” when asked why it was only Mahathir who criticised Prime Minister Najib Razak’s leadership.
Refusing to comment any further on issues dealing with politics, she jokingly asked her interviewers, “Eh, we are going to politics? No, no, no…”
She said that for his birthday today, besides a simple dinner, she would only be offering up a prayer that his “fight” to see a better Malaysia would finally come to an end.
“I also pray so that he can at least, see his fight end. In what way, I don’t know.
“If there are signs that his fight will end in whatever way, or Vision 2020 is coming to show him that whatever he had in mind before will be fulfilled, no matter whether small (successes) or not, I think he will be very happy,” Siti Hasmah was quoted by the news portal as saying.
She said she was reminded of a poem her husband once read while he was prime minister, called ‘Perjuangan Yang Belum Selesai’ (The fight that is not yet over) that conveyed the sorrow he felt for a nation that was colonised, degraded, humiliated and forgotten.
That poem is now on display in a huge frame on the ground floor of the Yayasan Kepimpinan Perdana in Putrajaya and she remembers passing it every time she followed her husband into his office when he was still prime minister of the country.
With her birthday in just two days’ time, Siti Hasmah said she did not want anything in particular. She also revealed that her husband preferred meaningful gifts over expensive ones.
“The best is when he buys something like a frame with a picture of us already inside..that will be very nice,” she said.