YABhg Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Binti Mohd Ali is a woman of many esteemed titles and roles, and on the 20th July 2016, her family hosted a tea party to celebrate the launch of her first biography titled My Name is Hasmah. Beloved family members, close friends and notable Malaysians from across industries on the Malaysian landscape gathered to honour her on her 90th birthday.
‘My Name is Hasmah’ is a delightful collective of heartfelt memoirs and archived images garnered across time that document her illustrious life as a mother and wife. Captured within the pages of her book, Tun Dr Siti Hasmah described her evolving role as a woman with a string of words which included entertainer, story teller, cheerleader and defender.
“In the 1950s, being a doctor was really something. People in the medical profession possessed skills that were very much needed in our newly independent nation. In the public eye, the status of a doctor also carried it with a touch of prestige. Like other young people dreaming about the future, I suppose I too would have thought at some point that “Dr Hasmah” had a nice ring to it. In the end, I would be one of the first Malay women to become a doctor and I also went on to have an immensely fulfilling career in public health.”
“These are my ingredients for a long and happy marriage: #1. trust, #2. constant love and care in good times and bad times, #3. always guarding your spouse’s image and integrity, and doing the same for yourself. #4. sharing of duties as parents. Mahathir and me, over the years. In between the formal moments, we always found time to laugh. This keeps us together.”
DATIN SERI DR SITI
Prime Minister’s Wife
“As the Prime Minister’s wife, I had to support my husband, be knowledgable, know what was happening around me and make sure that I was by my husband’s side to meet the people. Whenever I am asked about the qualities necessary to fulfil the role of Prime Minister’s wife, I stress the importance of being humble. Indeed, it doesn’t matter if you are a doctor or a minister or a minister’s wife. If you are humble, the people will accept you.”
My Name is Hasmah was written with the help of a team of editors from Salt Media Group and published by Kumpulan Karangkraf under its Alaf21 imprint. The 248 page book will retail at bookstores for RM 80.