Abdullah to take it easy

(The Star) – The first thing that Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi plans to do as a retired prime minister is to catch up on some sleep.

Then, after a trip to the cineplex, he will pack his belongings and move out of Seri Perdana and take a short break to spend time with his wife Tun Jeanne Abdullah.

“Since I am no longer the prime minister, I plan to get some sleep tomorrow,” he said with a laugh during an exclusive interview with The Star yesterday, shortly after handing over duties to Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

Tun Abdullah and Tun Jeanne Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and Tun Jeanne Abdullah receiving the nation’s highest award ‘Seri Maharaja Mangku Negara’ and ‘Seri Setia Mahkota’ titles respectively at the conferment ceremony. They were both conferred the title ‘Tun’ by Yang di- Pertuan Agong Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin at Istana Negara yesterday after the swearing-in of Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak as Malaysia’s sixth Prime Minister. — Bernama

On a serious note, Abdullah said there were still many things to be done before he could “seriously take a break”.

On top of his to-do list is to pack up his belongings in preparation to move out of Seri Perdana.

“I still have a function to attend on Sunday. The Yang di-Pertuan Agong will be planting trees under the ‘Hutan Kita’ programme at Bukit Kiara and I will be attending the event with my wife.”

Abdullah said that with more free time now, he wants to catch a movie with Jeanne, adding that the last movie he watched was the latest James Bond film Quantum of Solace.

“Jeanne wanted to belanja (treat) me to a movie on my birthday last year and booked the whole cineplex for me and my staff to watch the movie, which I enjoyed,” he said.

Abdullah said even though he had had a busy schedule as prime minister, he still made time for his six grandchildren.

“But now, I will have more time for them. I simply love being around my grandchildren because I love kids. In fact, I love teasing my grandchildren until they sometimes cry,” he said with a chuckle as he played with his grandson Jibreil Ali, son of his daughter Nori and Khairy Jamaluddin.

The Prime Minister’s wife, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, (right) greeting Tun Jeanne Abdullah after she was conferred the Seri Setia Mahkota award which carries the title ‘Tun’ at Istana Negara in Kuala Lumpur yesterday. Like Jeanne, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi was also awarded the Tunship. — Bernama

Hours after he had bid farewell as prime minister to the nation, Abdullah was still saying private goodbyes to his personal aides and close friends at home.

Meanwhile, Jeanne said she was relieved that Abdullah had retired, saying that she believed that her husband had done his best for the country and that “he can do something else now”.

“I don’t think we will ever get out of the public glare but at least we won’t be rushing from one event to the next.

“And now, I can have him all to myself,” she said.