The birthdays of Malaysia’s favourite nonagenarian couple, Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and his wife Siti Hasmah, fall just two days apart.
Mahathir’s birthday falls on July 10, while Siti Hasmah’s falls on July 12.
The couple got a surprise celebration on Thursday (July 11) when Malaysia’s King threw them an impromptu party at the Istana Negara, featuring a cake in the shape of several books, a violin, and a music score, according to a video published by Berita RTM.
Siti Hasmah is known for her ability to play the instrument – a skill that she picked up as a child and then re-learnt at the age of 68 – while Mahathir loves to read.
In the video, after cutting the cake, 94-year-old Prime Minister and his wife, now aged 93, then fed each other pulut kuning, a traditional dish of steamed yellow glutinous rice.
The couple have been married for 63 years, and met when they were both attending medical school in the King Edward VII College of Medicine in Singapore.
The two became close after Mahathir tutored Siti Hasmah in various subjects, and she graduated as one of the first female doctors in Malaysia. The PM’s wife has since been a vocal spokesman on the importance of vaccinating young children.
The sprightly nonagenarian, who played competitive badminton up until the age of 75, has also experienced life in the political spotlight twice, with each of her husband’s terms as PM.
Here’s Siti Hasmah’s top three cutest moments since her husband’s return to office:
#1: The time she held Imran Khan’s hand… and also Vladmir Putin’s
Siti Hasmah won the collective love of Pakistanis in November last year after a video of her asking to hold Pakistani PM Imran Khan’s hand during a photo op went viral on social media.
People loved the adorable moment – and even her own daughter teased her for flirting with the former athlete, who is regarded as one of the world’s most handsome politicians.
Siti Hasmah also held hands with Russian premier Putin that same month, explaining that both men treated her like their mother.
#2: When she made Mahathir run a Facebook contest offering a double date with the couple
Siti Hasmah and PM Mahathir were invited to the premiere of badminton legend Lee Chong Wei‘s film in March last year, which chronicled his journey of becoming a star athlete.
The PM’s wife then made the PM offer two free tickets to the movie in a giveaway on Facebook, with the winners getting to attend the premiere alongside the couple.
“Hasmah would like to share this favorite sports show ticket with any Malaysian couple,” Mahathir said in a Facebook post, calling the outing a “double date”.
To take part, netizens were asked to post a photo of them and their partner in the comments section, alongside the story of how they met.
The PM added that he was going along with this plan “for the sake of Chong Wei and Hasmah”.
#3: When she forced her husband to let her kiss him on video
As part of an interview by 10-year-old child star Kashika Selvam in 2018, Mahathir and Siti Hasmah were asked if they preferred hugs or kisses.
When Mahathir answered “hugs”, his wife prodded him to say “both” (her own answer).
Selvam then asked Mahathir to hug Siti Hasmah on video, whereupon he gave her a small hug on the arm.
Last, Selvam asked Siti Hasmah to kiss Mahathir – but the PM was initially unwilling to be kissed on video and leaned away from his wife.
He eventually relented and allowed her to peck him on the cheek.
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