PETALING JAYA: Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali was conferred the title of “Ibu Negara” by the Asian Strategy and Leadership Institute (Asli) last night for her lifelong achievements and advocating reforms.
Asli chairman Tan Sri Dr Jeffrey Cheah said the title, which loosely means "mother of the nation", was also to honour the wife of the prime minister for her decades of commitment, sacrifice and support for Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
She accepted the award during the National Women’s Day gala dinner organised by Asli and Jeffrey Cheah Foundation at a hotel in Bandar Sunway.
In her speech, Siti Hasmah said she dedicated the award to her late parents, siblings and friends.
“I wish my late parents, my late sister Datuk Paduka Saleha Ali and my late brother the former Bank Negara governor, Ismail will be able to see me today.
"It is because of my family... and this would have been great for them because they always thought I was a tomboy, catching spiders.
"I (also) owe it to my former colleagues in Kedah and Kuala Lumpur. To those who taught me to become who I am today." she said.
Last night's event also saw the launch of Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali Scholarship for Creative Arts and Music worth RM10 million funded by Jeffrey Cheah Foundation at Sunway University.
She hoped the scholarship would encourage youths to pursue creative arts and music locally.
“For me, learning music is a form of de-stressing and I thank the foundation for creating this opportunity to allow youths to pursue music here instead of going abroad.” she said.