Dr M: Tol­er­ance key to happy mar­riage

New Straits Times - - NEWS / NATION - Ber­nama

PUTRAJAYA: Prime Min­is­ter Tun Dr Ma­hathir Mo­hamad has shared his se­cret to be­ing hap­pily mar­ried to Tun Dr Siti Has­mah Mohd Ali for the past 62 years.

He said tol­er­ance, as well as the need to con­sider the feel­ings and their chil­dren’s fu­ture, was the most im­por­tant key to their re­la­tion­ship.

In an ex­clu­sive in­ter­view with The Third Age Me­dia As­so­ci­a­tion and Ber­nama News Chan­nel at Per­dana Lead­er­ship Foun­da­tion here re­cently, he said tol­er­ance was the key to main­tain­ing a healthy and bal­anced re­la­tion­ship.

“Well, my wife al­ways says that be­hind ev­ery suc­cess­ful man, there is a wife, not a woman. She ob­jects to that,” said the 93-yearold.

“When we were young, we have our dif­fer­ences, ten­sion and all that.

“But as you grow older, you re­alise that you can­not change your part­ner much and she can­not change me much, and we learn to ac­cept that this is what the other per­son is like.”

He said as he spent most of his time in pol­i­tics, Dr Siti Has­mah ac­com­pa­nied him on most oc­ca­sions.

“And if I can­not be with her be­cause of work, she tol­er­ates that.”

He stressed that there was a need to con­sider the feel­ings of their chil­dren as it would be dis­as­trous for the fam­ily when par­ents broke up and re­mar­ried.

“The chil­dren will never have a good life.

“There­fore, you need to show con­cern for your chil­dren.”

The cou­ple met at the King Ed­ward VII Col­lege of Medicine in Sin­ga­pore (now part of Na­tional Univer­sity of Sin­ga­pore) in 1947 and got mar­ried in 1956.

Dr Ma­hathir’s first ten­ure as prime min­is­ter was from 1981 to 2003, be­com­ing Malaysia’s long­est-serv­ing prime min­is­ter, be­fore mak­ing a come­back af­ter the 14th Gen­eral Elec­tion in May.

FILE PIC

Prime Min­is­ter Tun Dr Ma­hathir Mo­hamad with his wife, Tun Dr Siti Has­mah Mohd Ali, at the Merdeka month cel­e­bra­tion in Ge­orge Town last month.

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