KUALA LUMPUR― At age 93, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad is well-known for his strong work ethics and seemingly boundless energy.
But perhaps a little known fact is that a significant part of hectic life is planned to the detail not by any personal assistant, but his own wife Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali.
Unlike his previous long-serving term of 22 years, she revealed that Dr Mahathir has now changed his daily work hours from the previous 8am to 5pm to an extended period of 8.30am to 6pm.
Dr Siti Hasmah said her husband would then shower and pray after he wakes up from his nap, adding that they would then usually have a late dinner around 9.30pm.
In the same interview, Dr Siti Hasmah said she insists that Dr Mahathir is free during the weekends, to do or go as he wishes.
She revealed that she chairs a meeting every Thursday with his “programmers” to go through the multiple invites that Dr Mahathir gets and to decide which programmes he would attend.
“He has many invites, not only political ones, but also social invitations, like weddings, his school alumni and others.
“I will be the one to tell them ‘yes’ or ‘no’,” she reportedly said.
She noted that Dr Mahathir would want to go through Cabinet papers at home on Tuesday or Thursday nights, ahead of the weekly Cabinet meetings the next day.
Dr Siti Hasmah said she would have her husband attend events that she is invited to if she thinks he would be able to “relax” there.
“That would be his downtime. I tell the programmers’ meeting that I am taking him along and they will slot it in his programme,” she said.
She told NST she took pleasure in carrying out her responsibility of ensuring that all is well with her husband.
Dr Siti Hasmah, 92, has been married to Dr Mahathir for about 62 years.
She has previously shared the key ingredients to her long-lasting and happy marriage with Dr Mahathir, which includes trust and love.