Tears and laughter for Kak Wan, Siti Hasmah


(FMT) – There was only one word to describe the meeting between the wives of former opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim and former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad – touching.

Khairuddin Abu Hassan, the man responsible for setting up the meeting, said he teared up the moment Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail and Dr Siti Hasmah Mohamad Ali embraced each other at the PKR leader’s residence in Segambut yesterday.

What was supposed to be a short afternoon meeting turned into a bonding session lasting an hour and 45 minutes during which the two women laughed and cried as they conversed.

“Yes, their conversation touched on Anwar, but always on a positive note. It was a really touching moment that showed just how big their hearts are,” said Khairuddin to FMT.

“They didn’t let what had happened come in between them, even as they talked about past events. Everything was said in a positive manner”.

He added that the two powerful ladies had exchanged gifts. “Siti Hasmah gave Kak Wan a copy of her memoirs, while Kak Wan gave her goat’s-milk products, good for Siti Hasmah’s health.”

The meeting of the two wives broke a political estrangement of two decades between Anwar and Dr Mahathir.

Anwar was Mahathir’s right hand man in the 1980s and 1990s before disagreements between the two resulted in Anwar being dismissed as deputy premier in 1998. He was later convicted and jailed on corruption and sodomy charges.

Opposition leaders including Wan Azizah herself described the trials and convictions as being politically motivated and Mahathir became the main enemy of the opposition for almost two decades.

However earlier this year Mahathir resigned from Umno, which he once led for over 22 years, and rekindled his political relationship with Anwar as part of his campaign to oust Prime Minister Najib Razak.

The 91-year-old even surprised many when he made a surprise visit in court, to support Anwar in the latter’s bid to put an end to the controversial National Security Council Act.