Mon11202017

LAST_UPDATEMon, 20 Nov 2017 8am

Meet The Wives Of Malaysia's Prime Ministers

THEY say, behind every great man there is a great woman. We all know who our leaders are, but do we know the women that these men share their lives and success with? Well, here’s a quick introduction to the ladies who by virtue of marriage have earned the title as the “Wife of Malaysia’s Prime Minister”.

'First Lady' Controversy

According to The Malay Business Tribune, controversy first started in 2011 when Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, the wife to current Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak widely used the title of “First Lady”. No previous wives of the Prime Minister have used this title before. Asia Sentinel reported that a six-person unit had been established in the Prime Minister’s Office, known as FLOM, an acronym for “First Lady of Malaysia”, to look after her needs.

This has caused controversy because according to Malaysia’s constitutional monarchy, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong (King) is the figurehead, thus his wife, the Raja Permaisuri Agong is deemed the First Lady. More highlights of our current Prime Minister's wife's background is included in the section on her below.

Tun Sharifah Rodziah Syed Alwi Barakbah


 
Sharifah Rodziah was the wife of Malaysia’s very first Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj. She was actually the younger sister of Tunku’s university mate in England, Syed Omar Barakbah. She was Tunku’s third wife after the death of Meriam Chong and his divorce from Violet Coulson.
 
Tun Rahah Tan Sri Mohammad Noah


 
Rahah is not only the wife to Malaysia’s second Prime Minister Tun Abdul Razak Hussein, but also the mother to current Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak. Her father was a former Speaker of the Dewan Rakyat and she served as President of the Girls Guides Association of Malaysia and patron of the Muslim Women’s Action Organisation (Pertiwi).
 
Toh Puan Suhaila Tan Sri Mohammad Noah

Suhaila was the wife of the third Prime Minister Tun Hussein Onn and also is the sister of Tun Rahah mentioned above. Together with Tun Hussein they had six children, with their fourth child,  Datuk Seri Hishammuddin currently serving as Minister of Defence.
 
Tun Dr. Siti Hasmah Haji Mohamad Ali

 

The wife of Malaysia’s fourth and longest serving Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, Siti Hasmah was born in 1926 in Klang and obtained her MBBS from the University of Malaya in Singapore.
 
She is currently the chancellor of Multimedia University of Malaysia (MMU) and has served various positions in multiple associations before such as Malaysian Medical Association Foundation and Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM).
 
Together with Tun Mahathir they have seven children including socio-political activist Marina Mahathir and current Kedah Menteri Besar Mukhriz Mahathir.
 
Tun Endon Mahmood Ambak


 
Endon was married to Malaysia’s fifth Prime Minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. Born to a mixed heritage of Malay and Japanese, she was noted for her contributions towards traditional fabric art such as batik and songket.
 
Together with Abdullah, they have two children – business tycoon Datuk Kamaluddin Abdullah and daughter Nori Abdullah who is married to current Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin. Endon died of breast cancer in 2005.
 
Tun Jeanne Abdullah


 
Jeanne married Prime Minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi in 2007, after the death of his first wife Tun Endon in 2005. She was previously a manager at Seri Perdana, which is the official residence of the Prime Minister. She has two daughters from a previous marriage.
 
Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor


 
Rosmah is the wife of current Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Anthropology from University of Malaya and also a Masters Degree in Sociology and Agriculture from Louisiana State University.

After a short but successful corporate career before marrying the prime minister, Rosmah has since helmed many charitable and social causes, amongst them, Children in Hope Foundation, Malaysian Nature Society, Society of the Orthopedically Handicapped Malaysia, Malaysia Aids Council, National Heart Institute Foundation, Thalassemia Association, National Athletes’ Welfare Association and the Foundation for the Development of Underprivileged Children and the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM).

A mother of four, the cause closest to her heart is childhood education and care, highlighted in her support of the Permata project launched in 2011.

She is probably the most well-known and controversial of all the wives. So she might even need one separate article just to cover her. So stay tuned to Malaysian Digest and we’ll come up with one!

 

- mD