Siti Hasmah Mohamad Ali
سيتي حسمه محمد علي
Siti Hasmah in 2019
Spouse of the Prime Minister of Malaysia
In role
10 May 2018 – 24 February 2020
Spouse of the Interim: 24 February - 1 March 2020
MonarchsMuhammad V
Abdullah
Prime MinisterMahathir Mohamad
Preceded byRosmah Mansor
Succeeded byNoorainee Abdul Rahman
In role
16 July 1981 – 31 October 2003
MonarchsAhmad Shah
Iskandar
Azlan Shah
Jaafar
Salahuddin
Sirajuddin
Prime MinisterMahathir Mohamad
Preceded bySuhailah Noah
Succeeded byEndon Mahmood
Spouse of the Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia
In role
5 March 1976 – 16 July 1981
MonarchsYahya Petra
Ahmad Shah
Prime MinisterHussein Onn
Deputy Prime MinisterMahathir Mohamad
Preceded bySuhailah Noah
Succeeded byInes Maria Reyna
Personal details
Born
Siti Hasmah binti Mohamad Ali

(1926-07-12) 12 July 1926 (age 97)
Klang, Selangor, Federated Malay States, British Malaya
CitizenshipMalaysian
Spouse
(m. 1956)
Children7 (including Marina, Mokhzani and Mukhriz)
RelativesIsmail Mohd Ali (brother)
Alma materKing Edward VII College of Medicine (MBBS)
OccupationDoctor

Tun Dr. Siti Hasmah binti Haji Mohamad Ali (Jawi: سيتي حسمه بنت محمد علي; born 12 July 1926) is the wife of Mahathir Mohamad, the 4th and 7th Prime Minister of Malaysia and former chancellor of the Multimedia University (MMU).[1][2] She played the role of Spouse of the Prime Minister of Malaysia from July 1981 to October 2003 and from May 2018 to March 2020 for almost 24 years. She is the oldest-living person of the role.

Early life and family

Born in Klang, Selangor on 12 July 1926, Siti Hasmah is an ethnic Malay (retired) physician of Minangkabau descent from Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia. She schooled in SMK St. Mary. She obtained her MBBS from the University of Malaya in Singapore.[3] Tun Siti Hasmah was one of the first Malay women to enroll for a medical course at the King Edward VII College of Medicine in Singapore (now the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine) after World War II.

In 1955 she graduated as a medical doctor from the Faculty of Medicine, Universiti Malaya, which was then located in Singapore. She subsequently joined the government health service. She was one of the first Malay woman doctors in then Malaya. She married Mahathir the following year in August.[4] They have seven children, Marina, Mirzan, Melinda, Mokhzani, Mukhriz, Maizura and Mazhar.

In 1966, she attended a public health certificate program at the School of Public Health, the University of Michigan.[5]

Ten years later, she became the first woman to be appointed Medical Officer in the Maternal and Child Health Department, and in 1974, she was the first woman to be appointed the State Maternal and Child Health Officer. She is also the author of several articles on family medicine and the socioeconomic factors associated with pregnancy and childbearing in Malaysia.

Known to be a loving person, Siti Hasmah is a cat lover and music enthusiast.[6]

Wife of Prime Minister of Malaysia

Siti Hasmah (center) seen alongside her husband, Mahathir Mohamad during a visitation trip at Bukit Merah, Perak.

Siti Hasmah became the wife of Malaysia prime minister following the appointment of her husband as Prime Minister in 1981.

She used her position as the wife of the Prime Minister to campaign tirelessly for women's health, family planning, drug abuse control and adult literacy. She also served in various positions as follows:

As Patron of the Pan Pacific South Asia Women's Association, (PPSEAWA) Malaysia, Siti Hasmah attended and presented keynote addresses at the Triennial Conferences in Tokyo (1984), Bangkok (1991) and Tonga (1994).

She again served as the wife of the prime minister after her husband was reappointed on 10 May 2018.

Social contributions

Drug abuse

As President of BAKTI (Welfare Club of the Wives of Ministers and Deputy Ministers), Siti Hasmah was active in efforts to educate young people about the dangers of drug abuse. In 1985, at the invitation of United States First Lady Nancy Reagan, she attended the First Ladies' Conference on Drug Abuse in Washington D.C. She also represented Malaysia at the International Conference on Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking in Vienna in 1987.

Rural women

Siti Hasmah was also active internationally in promoting the cause of rural women. In 1992, at the invitation of Queen Fabiola of Belgium, she attended the First Ladies Summit for the Economic Advancement of Rural Women in Geneva. She was chosen as one of the six Core-Group Initiators of First Ladies representing the Asia-Pacific Region.

The summit was initiated by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) under the patronage of Queen Fabiola. At the end of the Summit, the First Ladies endorsed the Geneva Declaration on Rural Women, an instrument to formulate policies and programmes to enhance the economic advancement and welfare of rural women and their families.

At the summit, Siti Hasmah stressed the "with proper education and training, rural women can help raise literate and productive children who, in turn, can be positive contributors to a nation's growth and prosperity."

In February 1994, Siti Hasmah attended the ISC Council Meeting in Brussels at the invitation of Queen Fabiola. Then, in September 1995, she was appointed as Chairperson of Regional Steering Committee on the Economic Advancement of Rural and Island Women for Asia Pacific Region.

Eventually, in November 1996, she took over the presidency of the International Steering Committee for Economic Advancement of Rural and Island Women for Asia Pacific Region.

Mental health

Being a medical doctor by training, Siti Hasmah also has an interest in mental health. Former First Lady of the United States, Rosalynn Carter invited Siti Hasmah to serve on the National Committee of the World Federation of Mental Health which Mrs Carter chaired.

Awards and recognitions

For her life-long of public service, her voluntary work, and her leadership in the fields of public health, literacy and drug abuse control, Siti Hasmah has received many awards.

In 1988, she was awarded the Kazue McLaren Award by the Asia Pacific Consortium for Public Health.

In 1991, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia conferred on her the Honorary Doctorate in Medical Science.

In 1992, the Royal College of Physicians, Ireland, conferred on her the Honorary Doctorate in Public Health.

In May 1994, Indiana University, Bloomington conferred on Siti Hasmah the Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters, and in August the same year, she received an Honorary Doctorate of Law from the University of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.

In 2018, Perdana University conferred on her the Honorary Doctor of Philosophy Degree for Women and Community Development.[8]

On 20 June 1997, she was appointed as the Chancellor of the Multimedia University (MMU) and patrons of MESCORP.

On 18 December 2020, women's magazine Nona presented Siti Hasmah with the Nona Superwoman Award 2020.[6][9]

Honours

The Yang di-Pertuan Agong (King) of Malaysia, as well as several Heads of States, have bestowed titles upon her. In 2003, she was conferred the highest honorary title of Tun along with her husband, Dr Mahathir, by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.[10]

Honours of Malaysia

In popular culture

Siti Hasmah has been portrayed in a theater, documentary and films. She was portrayed by Erra Fazira in the theater Mahathir, the Musical (2010) and two films played by Fadhilah Mansor in Kapsul (2015) and by Fauziah Latiff in Mahathir: The Journey (2022 or 2023 because shot in 2019 and early 2020 before Movement control order COVID-19 pandemic in Malaysia.

Publications

See also

References

  1. ^ "Don't forget Dr Siti Hasmah". New Straits Times. 30 October 2003.
  2. ^ "Thanks also to Dr Siti Hasmah". New Straits Times. 31 October 2003.
  3. ^ Biografi Wanita Malaysia (in Malay). Kuala Lumpur: Pertubuhan Tindakan Wanita Islam (Malaysia). p. 138. OCLC 559286367.
  4. ^ Information Malaysia. Berita Publ. Sdn. Bhd. 1975. p. 44.
  5. ^ Biography of the Early Malay Doctors 1900-1957 Malaya and Singapore. Kuala Lumpur. 2012.((cite book)): CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link)
  6. ^ a b Norzalina (21 December 2020). "Pencinta Kucing Muzik Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Dedah Rahsia Penyayang!". Nona (in Malay). Retrieved 12 May 2021.
  7. ^ A Pictorial Journey Tun Dr. Mahathir. Kuala Lumpur: Utusan Publications & Distributors. 2004. p. 249. ISBN 967-61-1637-8.
  8. ^ "Education is a lifetime job, says Dr Mahathir". New Straits Times. 7 October 2018. Archived from the original on 22 August 2019. Retrieved 23 August 2019.
  9. ^ Rosmah Idayu (21 December 2020). "NONA SUPERWOMAN 2020 Raikan Kejayaan Wanita Pencetus Inspirasi". Nona (in Malay). Retrieved 12 May 2021.
  10. ^ "Dr Mahathir, Dr Siti Hasmah conferred Tun title". New Straits Times. 1 November 2003.
  11. ^ a b "SEMAKAN PENERIMA DARJAH KEBESARAN, BINTANG DAN PINGAT". Prime Minister's Department (Malaysia). Archived from the original on 29 September 2018. Retrieved 15 April 2021.
  12. ^ "Dr. Hasmah terima kurnia Sultan Kedah" (PDF). Utusan Malaysia (in Malay). Perdana Leadership Foundation. 18 July 1983. Retrieved 15 April 2021.
  13. ^ "114ra'ayat di-beri gelaran dan pingat". 20 January 1971. p. 3.
  14. ^ "Siti Hasmah heads Penang list". The Star. 12 July 2003. Archived from the original on 19 January 2021. Retrieved 15 April 2021.
  15. ^ "SPMS 1994". awards.selangor.gov.my. Retrieved 8 December 2021.
  16. ^ a b "Istana Selangor sahkan Tun M pulangkan darjah kebesaran". Berita Harian (in Malay). 12 December 2017. Retrieved 15 April 2021.
  17. ^ a b "Selangor Royal Council confirms Mahathir has returned royal awards". The Sun Daily. 12 December 2017. Archived from the original on 25 December 2018. Retrieved 15 April 2021.
  18. ^ "DPMS 1983". awards.selangor.gov.my. Retrieved 8 December 2021.
  19. ^ "Siti Hasmah celebrates 90 years with biography". 8 October 2022.