Wives of Past Prime Ministers
Tun Sharifah Rodziah binti Syed Alwi Barakbah
Born in 1920, Tun Sharifah Rodziah Binti Syed Alwi Barakbah was the daughter of Syed Alwi Barakbah of Alor Star. Tun Sharifah was also the younger sister of Syed Omar Barakbah, who turned out to be Tunku Abdul Rahman’s college mate when he was studying in London. Tun Sharifah married Tunku Abdul Rahman in 1939 and they adopted three children, Faridah, Sulaiman and Mariam. She also became a loving stepmother towards Tunku’s children from his previous marriage with Meriam Chong, Tunku Khatijah and Tunku Ahmad Nerang. On March 12, 2000, Tun Sharifah passed away due to pneumonia in Penang, at the age of 80. She was entombed next to her husband at Kedah Royal Mausoleum, in Langgar, Kedah. Click here to know more about Tun Sharifah.
Tun Hajah Rahah binti Tan Sri Haji Mohd Noah Omar
Tun Rahah was born on 11th of June 1933, to Tan Sri Haji Mohd Noah and Puan Seri Hajah Maimun Manaf of Muar, Johor. She was the youngest of her ten siblings and was only twenty months apart from her older sister, Tun Suhailah, who was the wife of the third Prime Minister, Tun Hussein Onn. In 1939, Tun Rahah moved to Mersing with her parents as at that time her father, Tan Sri Mohd Noah, was the Deputy District Officer and First Class Magistrate of Mersing. Her father was a respected man and a notable politician, proven by becoming one of the important figures during the formation of UMNO and the first Speaker of the Dewan Rakyat. Tun Rahah received her early English education at the Sultan Abu Bakar Girls School (SABGS) in Muar, and then attended the Temenggong Ibrahim Girls School in Batu Pahat. Later in 1947, Tun Rahah enrolled in Melaka Convent boarding school, when her father was the District Officer in Segamat.
Before meeting Tun Razak, Tun Rahah was shown a photograph of him by her mother. At the time, Tun Rahah was 18, and Tun Razak was 29. They proceeded with an engagement that was held in Johor Bahru. After a year, Tun Rahah married Tun Razak on 4th of September, 1952. After the wedding, Tun Rahah followed Tun Razak to live in Pahang. She was the first and only daughter to move out of Johor. Together, Tun Rahah and Tun Razak had five sons. Their first son, Dato’ Seri Mohamed Najib was born on 23rd July 1953 and later became the sixth Prime Minister of Malaysia. Click here to know more about Tun Rahah.
Tun Suhailah binti Tan Sri Mohd Noah Omar
Tun Suhailah Binti Tan Sri Haji Mohd Noah was born on 26th October 1931. She was the daughter of Tan Sri Haji Mohd Noah, the first Speaker of Dewan Rakyat and Puan Seri Hajah Maimun Manaf of Muar, Johor. Tun Suhailah was the older sister of Tun Rahah, born only twenty months apart. In 1939, Tun Suhailah moved to Mersing with Tun Rahah and her parents, where her father served as the Deputy District and First Class Magistrate. Just like Tun Rahah, Tun Suhailah received her first English education at the Sultan Abu Bakar Girls School (SABGS) in Muar, and at the Temenggong Ibrahim Girls School in Batu Pahat. Tun Suhailah then went to Melaka Convent, when Tan Sri Mohd Noah was the District Officer in Segamat in 1947.
In an UMNO fund-raising concert, Tun Suhailah and Tun Rahah took part and performed a traditional Malay wedding. She acted as the bridegroom and caught the attention of Tun Hussein Onn, who was then a young army captain who had just returned from training at the Military Academy in Dehradun, India. Not long after, Tun Suhailah was engaged to Tun Hussein Onn while she was still at school. Tun Suhailah then married Tun Hussein Onn on 14th February 1948. It was a grand union between the daughter of the Permanent Chairman of UMNO and the son of the First President of UMNO. The couple had six children together, two boys and four girls. One of their boys, Dato’ Seri Hishammudin is now serving as Malaysia’s Minister of Defence.
Twenty-four years after her husband met his maker, Tun Suhailah passed away on 4 October 2014, at the age of 82. She was buried near the grave of her husband, Tun Hussein Onn and also the grave of her father, Tan Sri Mohamad Noah at the Heroes’ Mausoleum in Masjid Negara, Kuala Lumpur. Click here to know moreabout Tun Suhailah.
Tun Siti Hasmah binti Mohd Ali
Tun Dr. Siti Hasmah, the wife of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, was born in 1926 in Kampung Jawa, Klang, Selangor. Tun Siti is the sixth child of ten siblings. Her father, Hj Mohd Ali, was a government officer while her mother, Hajah Siti Khatijah bt Ahmad, was a housewife. In her early years, Tun Dr. Siti Hasmah received her education at Methodist Girls’ School, Kuala Lumpur. She then continued to attend St Mary’s School and later Pudu English School, where she obtained her School Certificate. After the Second World War, Tun Dr Siti Hasmah enrolled in King Edward VII College of Medicine in Singapore on a scholarship. She was the only Malay female student in the batch. That was the moment when she met Tun Dr Mahathir, who also enrolled in the same year; they struck a relationship which grew day by day.
In 1955, Tun Dr. Siti Hasmah graduated as a medical doctor and went to General Hospital Kuala Lumpur for her housemanship. On 4th August 1956, Tun Dr. Siti Hasmah married Tun Dr. Mahathir in Kuala Lumpur. After the wedding, Tun Dr. Siti Hasmah moved to Alor Setar with Tun Dr. Mahathir and served as a medical officer at the Alor Setar General Hospital. Tun Dr. Siti Hasmah and Tun Dr. Mahathir have seven children – three girls and four boys, eighteen grandchildren and one great granddaughter.
After her husband stepped down as Prime Minister, Tun Dr. Siti Hasmah continued her role in giving support and accompanying her husband on his work. Click here to know more about Tun Siti Hasmah.
Tun Endon Mahmood
Tun Endon Mahmood was the first wife of Malaysia’s fifth Prime Minister, Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. Born on 24th Disember 1940 at Kuala Lumpur, She was the daughter of Datuk Mahmood Ambak, a Malay and Datin Mariam Abdullah, a Japanese. Her father, Datuk Mahmood Ambak, was a mining officer, in the Department of Mines. Tun Endon received her early education at the Anglo- Chinese School, now Methodist National Type Primary School. She then continued to attend St. Mary’s Secondary School in Kuala Lumpur.
Tun Endon met Tun Abdullah while she was working at the Federal Establishment Office, now known as the Public Service Department in the 1960s, and got married in 1965. Together, they were blessed with two children, Kamaluddin and Nori. As the wife of the Prime Minister, Tun Endon established the Penyayang Foundation, a foundation with the mission of providing society with education, social welfare, research and health services.
In 2003, Tun Endon was diagnosed with breast cancer, after her twin sister, Noraini, had been diagnosed with the same disease earlier and passed away in January 2003. After two years battling with cancer, Tun Endon drew her last breath at the Prime Minister’s Official Residence, Seri Perdana, surrounded by her family. Her remains were brought to the Putrajaya Mosque for funeral prayers and were laid to rest at the Muslim burial grounds at Precinct 20, Putrajaya. Click here to know more about Tun Endon Mahmood.
Tun Jeanne Abdullah
The eldest of four siblings, Tun Jeanne Abdullah was born on 29th July 1953 in Kuala Lumpur. She spent most of her childhood years in Petaling Jaya, where she received her primary and secondary education at Assunta School.
She became the Supervisor for the official residence of the Deputy Prime Minister and later as the Manager of Seri Perdana Complex. Tun Jeanne undoubtedly has vast experience in the areas of management, administration, sales, marketing and procurement. On the 9th June 2009, Tun Jeanne Abdullah married Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi in Putrajaya. Being the wife of the Prime Minister, Tun Jeanne assumed responsibility for several positions in a number of organizations, namely the Head of Badan Amal dan Kebajikan Tenaga Isteri-Isteri (BAKTI), Patron of Wives of Civil Servants and Women Civil Servants Association (PUSPANITA) and Patron of the Warrior’s Day Campaign.
Tun Jeanne Abdullah was conferred ‘Darjah Utama Negeri Melaka’(DUNM) from Yang Terutama Yang di-Pertua Negeri Melaka which carries the title ‘Datuk Seri Utama’ on 30th June 2007. She was also awarded the Darjah Seri Setia Mahkota’ (SSM) which carries the title ‘Tun’ on 3rd April 2009 by Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin. Click here to know more about Tun Jeanne Abdullah.