It’s a family affair for the Mahathir clan

In the heat of nomination day, Dr Siti Hasmah Mohamad Ali keeps her cool while waiting for her husband, former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, to be declared a candidate in Langkawi.

LANGKAWI: The heat on nomination day today was simply punishing, but Dr Siti Hasmah Mohamad Ali and her children kept their cool in a show of support for former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, making a comeback to election politics.

Siti Hasmah was accompanied by daughter Marina and son Mokhzani. They stood among the supporters, refusing to budge in spite of the heat.

However, she was later given a chair, and an aide held an umbrella to shield her from the sun. She stayed put at the barrier, among the crowd of supporters, a testament of her devotion to her husband.

Mahathir, who is chairman of Pakatan Harapan, submitted his nomination papers to contest the parliamentary seat of Langkawi for the first time. He had previously been MP for Kubang Pasu, in the Kedah mainland, for seven terms before retiring from active politics.

Siti Hasmah was warmed by the show of support. “It feels great. Even before this, the supporters have been coming out to support my husband. I hope on May 9, they will come out and do their responsibility in casting their votes,” she said.

She said she was determined to be by her husband’s side during the entire campaigning period, health permitting.

She pointed out the obvious difference between now and 20 years ago, when Mahathir was with Umno and the sitting prime minister then. Mahathir was prime minister from 1981 to 2003.

Now they were on the opposition side.

“Even the atmosphere is different. My husband was fighting against the opposition before, but now it is amazing to see them cooperating with him to fulfil one objective, which is to bring down the current government,” she said.

After Mahathir was officially announced as a candidate, the family, all dressed to the nines, attended a wedding reception at a nearby hotel.

Marina Mahathir, who was by her mother’s side, said it felt great to see her father contesting again in the general election.

“It has almost been 20 years since the last time he contested. He is a veteran. He is the coolest person. This situation here is not really new, but it is new in the sense that he is now on the opposite side.

“He is seeing the energy and enthusiasm of his supporters. It (the support) used to be a given (when he was in BN), but now it is not,” she added.

Another member of the family, Mukhriz, is also in the general election. Mukhriz, a former Kedah menteri besar, seeks to be MP for Jerlun and state assembly member for Jitra.

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