Han­nah Yeoh In 24 Hours

A day in the life of the for­mer lawyer, mother, and Malaysia’s first fe­male state speaker.

Harper’s Bazaar (Malaysia) - - Contents - By Amy Yas­mine.

6AM I usu­ally start my day the same time my 7-year-old daugh­ter wakes up, though that tends to hap­pen re­gard­less of a school day, or a pub­lic hol­i­day. It’s hard for me to get un­in­ter­rupted sleep be­cause my two girls, es­pe­cially my 5-year-old, would walk into my room in the mid­dle of the night and crawl in be­tween my hus­band and I. Count­less times I’ve wo­ken up with a sore back, sim­ply be­cause I would find my­self sand­wiched be­tween both of them! Once I’m up though, I’m al­ready buzzing about, get­ting my kids ready for school and help­ing my­self to a cup of tea. I don’t have much that I can’t do without, but I def­i­nitely need my tea ev­ery­day. 7AM Within an hour, the kids are al­ready on their way to school and I start get­ting my­self ready for the day ahead. My skin­care regime is quite sim­ple: I don’t re­ally wear make-up, and rely on a two-in-one mois­turiser with sun­block, which means less time spend­ing on touch-ups. Get­ting dressed is just as easy as well. My go-tos in­clude a pair of clas­sic pearl ear­rings, tra­di­tional baju ku­rung, and plat­form heels. I mea­sure con­fi­dence with height, and be­cause I’m only 154cm, I feel more con­fi­dent when I’m taller. 9AM Week­days are far more pre­dictable com­pared to week­ends, with of­fice hours and meet­ings in Putrajaya, as well as ap­point­ments. I’m usu­ally punc­tual be­cause I don’t like for peo­ple to wait on me. On any given day, I have com­mu­nity ac­tiv­i­ties planned in the morn­ing, to a deputy min­is­ter event, and stake­holder meet­ings. Oth­er­wise, I’m go­ing through a pile of e-mails, which have gone be­yond 5,000 for my of­fice since May 9. 1.15PM I know it’s re­ally un­healthy, but I do a lot of fast food lunches in be­tween meet­ings and events. Be­fore I be­came an MP for Segam­but, I had more time on my hands and was able to cook some de­cent meals for my fam­ily—ei­ther chicken curry or nasi lemak—but now, I’ve no time at all. These days, time is mostly spent in Putrajaya, at the Min­istry of Women, Fam­ily and Com­mu­nity De­vel­op­ment. We’re cur­rently work­ing on child pro­tec­tion. Our sys­tem is very lax when it comes to

screen­ing em­ploy­ees deal­ing with chil­dren, and we are in the midst of re­view­ing child­care, guide­lines on nanny ser­vices, and mak­ing amend­ments to the cur­rent law. 3PM Just re­cently, I was at a fo­rum in Desa ParkCity to talk to par­ents about rais­ing chil­dren. It’s an in­for­mal event, but it’s con­nected to what I do, es­pe­cially now that I have my own book, Be­com­ing Han­nah. I wrote this book as a per­sonal diary on why I do what I do. There’s a chap­ter in it on my hus­band’s pro­posal, but it’s also a call to home; to ex­plain why Malaysians should come home to make a change. And it’s called Be­com­ing Han­nah be­cause I’m a work in progress, like the work we do. 4.30PM When I feel like I need to de-stress, I of­ten find my­self at shop­ping malls. Even in be­tween events, where there’s a one-hour gap, I will usu­ally go to a mall and walk for 40 min­utes be­fore I go. That’s space for me—my time alone. Right now, I would love to be able to travel to Ja­pan, South Korea, Italy, and Spain. Still, I’d re­ally like to re­turn to New Zealand, where I once lived in a car­a­van for an en­tire month. I’d love to be able to bring my kids there one day. 7.25PM I spend most of my evenings en­ter­tain­ing my par­ents. Some­times to give my hus­band space, the kids will be with me when I’m run­ning from one event to an­other. Since I be­came deputy, my din­ners com­prise of fried chicken. If I don’t have din­ner be­cause of a meet­ing and am al­ready starv­ing, I end up eat­ing just meat—also be­cause I pre­fer not to eat carbs. 10PM I usu­ally get home be­tween 10 and 11pm. I tuck the girls in to bed and do some laun­dry. Thank­fully, I have a dryer—it’s the most use­ful thing for me. If I have ex­tra time on my hands, I watch a film with my hus­band. I re­cently watched an­other Robert Red­ford film called Our Souls at Night. It’s with Jane Fonda, and I just love how the idea of com­pan­ion­ship is por­trayed in the movie. An­other film on my must-watch list is Crazy Rich Asians. If I’m lis­ten­ing to mu­sic, Tr­isha Year­wood’s “How Do I Live” is on my playlist. 1AM Af­ter un­wind­ing from the day, which also in­cludes scrolling through Face­book to catch up with my friends, I try to squeeze in some time to read a book. I have peo­ple gift­ing me books all the time, and many new ones that I have not touched sim­ply be­cause I can­not stay awake for enough pages. When I do try though, it al­ways re­mains that I read two pages, and then just like that, I’m fast asleep.

“It’s called ‘Be­com­ing Han­nah’ be­cause I’m a work in progress, like the work we do.” – Han­nah Yeoh

Han­nah Yeoh, the 34-year old mem­ber of Malaysian par­lia­ment

Chanel Les Beiges Sheer Healthy Glow Mois­tur­iz­ing Tint Broad Spec­trum SPF 30

RealLiveWo­man byTr­ishaYear­wood

Be­com­ing Han­nah by Han­nah Yeoh

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