The Perdana Leadership Foundation is housed in a stately building on the banks of Tasik Putrajaya, and the upper floors provide excellent views of the federal administrative capital that our then Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad conceptualised. The building houses the Perdana Library, an auditorium and a multipurpose hall in addition to the offices of Mahathir — the foundation’s honorary president — and his wife, Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali.
The couple has worked from these offices since leaving Putrajaya’s political scene in 2003, enjoying the fruits of what they had built even though they were no longer involved in the nation’s administration.
“I remember that mighty lake when it was just a stream,” Siti Hasmah recalls, gesturing outside. “Can you imagine how much work would have gone into making something once so small now so big?”
She may as well have been referring to our nation’s progress over the years with that statement. From her vantage point as the PM’s wife, Siti Hasmah would have witnessed Malaysia at its best and its worst, in its most vibrant and successful state as well as its most down-trodden. But she would have also seen this nation of ours pick itself up after facing the many challenges and forge ahead, quietly supporting the man who spearheaded its recovery.
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