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Spouse of the prime minister of Malaysia

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Spouse of the Prime Minister of Malaysia
Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, 2019.jpg
Incumbent
Wan Azizah Wan Ismail

since 24 November 2022
StyleYang Amat Berbahagia
ResidenceSeri Perdana
Formation31 August 1957
First holderSharifah Rodziah Syed Alwi Barakbah

The spouse of the prime minister of Malaysia refers to the spouse of the head of government of Malaysia, the prime minister. Since independence in 1957, the title has been held by women, therefore the spouse is also known as the prime minister's wife. Some commentators have tried to style prime ministers' wives as "First Lady of Malaysia", similar to the style of First Lady used in republics, but this is not a recognised title.[1][2] To date, ten women have held the title of the spouse of the prime minister of Malaysia.

Role of the spouse of the prime minister of Malaysia

The spouse of the prime minister of Malaysia is not an elected position, carries no official duties, and brings no salary. However, she does receive some allowance as recognition of her time and energy put into being the spouse of the prime minister of Malaysia.

As the spouse of the prime minister of Malaysia, she attends many official ceremonies and functions of state either along with or representing the prime minister. There is a strict taboo against the spouse holding outside employment while serving as spouse of the prime minister of Malaysia.

Following the Asian value system, where the woman is the guiding light and pillar of the household, the spouse also represents family values and is taken as a motherly figure.

The spouse of the prime minister of Malaysia frequently participates in humanitarian and charitable work. It became increasingly common for spouses of heads of state or government to select specific causes to promote, usually ones that are not politically divisive. It is common for the spouse of the prime minister of Malaysia to form organisations and hire a staff to support these activities.

List of spouses of prime ministers of Malaysia

# Portrait Spouse Term start Term end Prime Minister
(Coalition-Party)
1 Blank.png Sharifah Rodziah Barakbah 31 August 1957 22 September 1970 Tunku Abdul Rahman
(Alliance-UMNO)
2 Rahah Noah 1968.jpg Rahah Noah 22 September 1970 14 January 1976 Abdul Razak Hussein
(Alliance-UMNO)
(1970–1973)
(BN-UMNO)
(1973–1976)
3 Blank.png Suhaila Noah 15 January 1976 16 July 1981 Hussein Onn
(BN-UMNO)
4 Siti Hasmah (cropped).jpg Siti Hasmah Mohamad Ali 16 July 1981 30 October 2003 Mahathir Mohamad
(BN-UMNO)
5 Endon Mahmood.jpg Endon Mahmood 31 October 2003 20 October 2005 Abdullah Ahmad Badawi
(BN-UMNO)
6 Jeanne Abdullah née Danker.jpg Jeanne Abdullah 9 June 2007 3 April 2009
7 Rosmah Mansor 2010 New Delhi (cropped).jpg Rosmah Mansor 3 April 2009 9 May 2018 Mohd Najib Abdul Razak
(BN-UMNO)
8 Siti Hasmah Mohamad Ali (cropped).jpg Siti Hasmah Mohamad Ali 10 May 2018 24 February 2020 Mahathir Mohamad
(PH-PPBM)
(Interim Prime Minister from 24 February 2020 to 1 March 2020)
9 Puan Sri Noorainee Abdul Rahman.png Noorainee Abdul Rahman 1 March 2020 16 August 2021 Muhyiddin Yassin
(PN-PPBM)
(Caretaker Prime Minister from 16 August 2021 to 21 August 2021)
10 Blank.png Muhaini Zainal Abidin 21 August 2021 24 November 2022 Ismail Sabri Yaakob
(BN-UMNO)
11 Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, 2019.jpg Wan Azizah Wan Ismail
MP for Bandar Tun Razak
24 November 2022 Incumbent Anwar Ibrahim

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Sharifah Rodziah Barakbah

Sharifah Rodziah Barakbah

Tun Sharifah Rodziah binti Syed Alwi Barakbah was the third wife of Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj, the founding father and first Prime Minister of Malaysia.

Tunku Abdul Rahman

Tunku Abdul Rahman

Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj ibni Almarhum Sultan Abdul Hamid Halim Shah was a Malaysian statesman and lawyer who served as the 1st Prime Minister of Malaysia and the head of government of its predecessor states from 1955 to 1970. He was the first chief minister of the Federation of Malaya from 1955 to 1957. He supervised the independence process that culminated on 31 August 1957. As Malaya's first prime minister he dominated politics there for the next 13 years. In 1963, he successfully incorporated the Federation of Malaya, British North Borneo, Sarawak, and Singapore into the state of Malaysia. However, tensions between the Malay and Chinese communities resulted in Singapore's expulsion in 1965. His poor performance during race riots in Kuala Lumpur in 1969 led to his resignation in 1970. Commonly known simply as "Tunku", Tunku Abdul Rahman is widely regarded, even by his critics, as Malaysia's "founding father", the architect of Malayan independence and of the formation of Malaysia. As such, he is often referred to as Father of Independence or Father of Malaysia.

Alliance Party (Malaysia)

Alliance Party (Malaysia)

The Alliance Party was a political coalition in Malaysia. The Alliance Party, whose membership comprised United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA) and Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC), was formally registered as a political organisation on 30 October 1957. It was the ruling coalition of Malaya from 1957 to 1963, and Malaysia from 1963 to 1973. The coalition became the Barisan Nasional in 1973.

United Malays National Organisation

United Malays National Organisation

The United Malays National Organisation or less commonly PEKEMBAR), is a nationalist right-wing political party in Malaysia. As the oldest continuous national political party within Malaysia, UMNO has once been called Malaysia's "Grand Old Party".

Rahah Noah

Rahah Noah

Tun Hajah Rahah binti Mohamed Noah was the wife of the 2nd Malaysian Prime Minister Tun Abdul Razak Hussein (1922–1976) and the mother of former Prime Minister Najib Razak. She was the daughter of Mohamed Noah Omar, 1st Speaker of the Dewan Rakyat (1897–1991).

Abdul Razak Hussein

Abdul Razak Hussein

Tun Haji Abdul Razak bin Dato' Hussein was a Malaysian politician who served as the 2nd Prime Minister of Malaysia from September 1970 until his death in January 1976. He also served as the first deputy prime minister of Malaysia from August 1957 to September 1970. He is referred to as the Father of Development.

Barisan Nasional

Barisan Nasional

The National Front is a political coalition of Malaysia that was founded in 1973 as a coalition of right-wing political parties. It is also the third largest political coalition with 30 seats in the Dewan Rakyat after coalition Pakatan Harapan with 82 seats and the coalition Perikatan Nasional with 73 seats.

Hussein Onn

Hussein Onn

Tun Hussein bin Dato' Onn was a Malaysian politician who served as the 3rd Prime Minister of Malaysia from the death of his predecessor Abdul Razak Hussein in January 1976 to his retirement in July 1981. Moreover, he was the Member of Parliament (MP) for Sri Gading from 1974 to 1981, representing Barisan Nasional (BN) and United Malays National Organisation (UMNO). He was granted the soubriquet Father of Unity.

Siti Hasmah Mohamad Ali

Siti Hasmah Mohamad Ali

Tun Dr. Siti Hasmah binti Haji Mohamad Ali is the spouse and wife of Mahathir Mohamad, the 4th and 7th Prime Minister of Malaysia. She played the role of Spouse of the Prime Minister of Malaysia from July 1981 to October 2003 and from May 2018 to March 2020 for almost 24 years. She is the oldest-living person of the role. She was also the former chancellor of the Multimedia University of Malaysia.

Mahathir Mohamad

Mahathir Mohamad

Mahathir bin Mohamad is a Malaysian politician, author, and physician who served as the 4th and 7th Prime Minister of Malaysia. He held office from July 1981 to October 2003 and later from May 2018 to March 2020 for a cumulative total of 24 years, making him the country's longest-serving prime minister. Before his promotion to the premiership, he served as Deputy Prime Minister and in other Cabinet positions. He has served as a member of parliament for Langkawi from May 2018 to October 2022, Kubang Pasu from August 1974 to March 2004, and Kota Setar Selatan from April 1964 to May 1969. His political career has spanned more than 75 years, from joining protests opposing citizenship policies for non-Malays in the Malayan Union in the 1940s to forming the Gerakan Tanah Air coalition in 2022.

Endon Mahmood

Endon Mahmood

Tun Endon binti Mahmood Ambak was the first wife of the 5th Prime Minister of Malaysia, Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. She died from breast cancer on 20 October 2005.

Abdullah Ahmad Badawi

Abdullah Ahmad Badawi

Tun Abdullah bin Ahmad Badawi is a Malaysian politician who served as the 5th Prime Minister of Malaysia from October 2003 to April 2009. He was also the sixth president of the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), the largest political party in Malaysia, and led the governing Barisan Nasional (BN) parliamentary coalition. He is informally known as Pak Lah, Pak meaning 'Uncle', while Lah is taken from his name 'Abdullah'.

List of spouses of prime ministers of Malaysia by Age

# Name Born Died Age
1 Siti Hasmah Mohamad Ali 12 July 1926 Alive 95 years, 144 days
2 Rahah Noah 11 June 1933 18 December 2020 87 years, 190 days
3 Suhaila Noah 26 October 1930 4 October 2014 83 years, 343 days
4 Sharifah Rodziah Barakbah 1920 12 March 2000 79 years 71 days to 80 years, 70 days
5 Noorainee Abdul Rahman
21 April 1949 Alive 73 years, 226 days
6 Jeanne Abdullah 29 July 1953 Alive 69 years, 127 days
7 Rosmah Mansor 10 December 1951 Alive 70 years, 358 days
8 Endon Mahmood 24 December 1940 20 October 2005 64 years, 300 days
9 Muhaini Zainal Abidin 12 November 1962 Alive 60 years, 21 days

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Siti Hasmah Mohamad Ali

Siti Hasmah Mohamad Ali

Tun Dr. Siti Hasmah binti Haji Mohamad Ali is the spouse and wife of Mahathir Mohamad, the 4th and 7th Prime Minister of Malaysia. She played the role of Spouse of the Prime Minister of Malaysia from July 1981 to October 2003 and from May 2018 to March 2020 for almost 24 years. She is the oldest-living person of the role. She was also the former chancellor of the Multimedia University of Malaysia.

Rahah Noah

Rahah Noah

Tun Hajah Rahah binti Mohamed Noah was the wife of the 2nd Malaysian Prime Minister Tun Abdul Razak Hussein (1922–1976) and the mother of former Prime Minister Najib Razak. She was the daughter of Mohamed Noah Omar, 1st Speaker of the Dewan Rakyat (1897–1991).

Sharifah Rodziah Barakbah

Sharifah Rodziah Barakbah

Tun Sharifah Rodziah binti Syed Alwi Barakbah was the third wife of Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj, the founding father and first Prime Minister of Malaysia.

Noorainee Abdul Rahman

Noorainee Abdul Rahman

Noorainee binti Abdul Rahman is the wife of Muhyiddin Yassin, who served as the 8th Prime Minister of Malaysia from March 2020 to August 2021, 10th and former Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia from April 2009 to July 2015. She is known for the school-in-hospital project.

Jeanne Abdullah

Jeanne Abdullah

Tun Jeanne Abdullah née Danker is married to the former Prime Minister of Malaysia, Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. She married Abdullah Badawi while he was in office. She is his second wife after the death of Badawi's first wife, Endon Mahmood.

Rosmah Mansor

Rosmah Mansor

Rosmah binti Mansor is the second wife of former Prime Minister of Malaysia, Najib Razak. Like her husband, she became implicated in the 1Malaysia Development Berhad scandal. On 1 September 2022, she was found guilty of corruption in relation to a school electricity project, fined $303m and sentenced to ten years imprisonment.

Endon Mahmood

Endon Mahmood

Tun Endon binti Mahmood Ambak was the first wife of the 5th Prime Minister of Malaysia, Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. She died from breast cancer on 20 October 2005.

Muhaini Zainal Abidin

Muhaini Zainal Abidin

Muhaini binti Zainal Abidin is a Malaysian who is the wife of Ismail Sabri Yaakob, the 9th Prime Minister of Malaysia from August 2021 to November 2022 and 13th Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia from July 2021 to August 2021.

Controversy

Controversy over the usage of the title "First Lady"

The Yang di-Pertuan Agong (King of Malaysia) is a constitutional figurehead within the framework of a constitutional monarchy. It is argued that Article 32(2) of the Constitution of Malaysia stipulates that the Consort of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong takes precedence over all individuals in the federation and is second only to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong himself. Hence, it is argued that the Raja Permaisuri Agong is, by strict analogy only, the First Lady of Malaysia. It should however be borne in mind that such a title cannot exist in Malaysia in the first place, as "First Lady" exclusively refers to wives of presidents and not monarchs.

Before Najib's premiership, there had not been a precedent in Malaysia where someone other than the wife of the prime minister served as a self-styled "First Lady". While the Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's first late wife, Tun Endon Mahmood Ambak underwent treatment for breast cancer in the United States, the title of "First Lady" was not officially designated.

The issue was brought up only during the premiership of Najib when his wife widely used the title of "First Lady". Many quarters either argue that it is reserved for the Raja Permaisuri Agong, or that it should never be used at all due to Malaysia not being a republic.

The issue didn't stop there as there was an obscure new unit established within the Prime Minister's Department with the acronym FLOM (which was not explained on the website, but taken to stand for "First Lady of Malaysia"). Datuk Siti Azizah binti Sheikh Abod was the Special Officer for the unit. The news on FLOM was widely covered by many bloggers with their own stories and analysis. This led to the government webpage containing the information of the contacts in FLOM department to be removed a few days after the story came out. However some search engines managed to store the cached version of the page.[3] Many groups questioned the validity and functionality of the department. There were also some queries, especially in the Malaysian Parliament, on how much allocation from the National Budget was allocated for the department.

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Yang di-Pertuan Agong

Yang di-Pertuan Agong

The Yang di-Pertuan Agong, also known as the Supreme Head of the Federation, the Paramount Ruler or simply as the Agong, and unofficially as the King of Malaysia, is the constitutional monarch and head of state of Malaysia. The office was established in 1957, when the Federation of Malaya gained independence from the United Kingdom. The Yang di-Pertuan Agong is elected by the Conference of Rulers, comprising the nine rulers of the Malay states, with the office de facto rotated between them, making Malaysia one of the world's few elective monarchies.

Constitutional monarchy

Constitutional monarchy

A constitutional monarchy, parliamentary monarchy, or democratic monarchy is a form of monarchy in which the monarch exercises their authority in accordance with a constitution and is not alone in decision making. Constitutional monarchies differ from absolute monarchies in that they are bound to exercise powers and authorities within limits prescribed by an established legal framework.

Constitution of Malaysia

Constitution of Malaysia

The Federal Constitution of Malaysia which came into force in 1957, is the supreme law of Malaysia and contains a total of 183 articles. It is a written legal document influenced by two previous documents, the Federation of Malaya Agreement 1948 and the Independence Constitution of 1957. The Federation was initially called the Federation of Malaya and it adopted its present name, Malaysia, when the states of Sabah, Sarawak and Singapore became part of the Federation. The Constitution establishes the Federation as a constitutional monarchy, having the Yang di-Pertuan Agong as the Head of State with largely ceremonial roles. It provides for the establishment and organisation of three main branches of the government: the bicameral legislative branch called the Parliament, which consists of the House of Representatives and the Senate ; the executive branch led by the Prime Minister and his Cabinet Ministers and the judicial branch headed by the Federal Court.

Raja Permaisuri Agong

Raja Permaisuri Agong

Raja Permaisuri Agong is the title given to the consort of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, the elected, constitutional federal monarch of Malaysia.

Malaysia

Malaysia

Malaysia is a country in Southeast Asia. The federal constitutional monarchy consists of thirteen states and three federal territories, separated by the South China Sea into two regions, Peninsular Malaysia and Borneo's East Malaysia. Peninsular Malaysia shares a land and maritime border with Thailand and maritime borders with Singapore, Vietnam, and Indonesia. East Malaysia shares land and maritime borders with Brunei and Indonesia and a maritime border with the Philippines and Vietnam. Kuala Lumpur is the national capital, largest city and the seat of the legislative branch of the federal government. The nearby planned capital of Putrajaya is the administrative capital, which represents the seat of both the executive branch and the judicial branch of the federal government. With a population of over 32 million, Malaysia is the world's 45th-most populous country. The southernmost point of continental Eurasia is in Tanjung Piai. In the tropics, Malaysia is one of 17 megadiverse countries, home to numerous endemic species.

Abdullah Ahmad Badawi

Abdullah Ahmad Badawi

Tun Abdullah bin Ahmad Badawi is a Malaysian politician who served as the 5th Prime Minister of Malaysia from October 2003 to April 2009. He was also the sixth president of the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), the largest political party in Malaysia, and led the governing Barisan Nasional (BN) parliamentary coalition. He is informally known as Pak Lah, Pak meaning 'Uncle', while Lah is taken from his name 'Abdullah'.

United States

United States

The United States of America, commonly known as the United States or informally America, is a country in North America. It consists of 50 states, a federal district, five major unincorporated territories, nine Minor Outlying Islands, and 326 Indian reservations. It is the third-largest country by both land and total area. The United States shares land borders with Canada to its north and with Mexico to its south. It has maritime borders with the Bahamas, Cuba, Russia, and other nations. With a population of over 331 million, it is the third most populous country in the world. The national capital is Washington, D.C., and the most populous city and financial center is New York City.

Source: "Spouse of the prime minister of Malaysia", Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, (2022, December 3rd), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spouse_of_the_prime_minister_of_Malaysia.

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References
  1. ^ "debunks 'first lady' term used on wife". The Malaysian Insider. 15 June 2010. Retrieved 21 January 2011.
  2. ^ "'First lady' lower than Queen". The Sun. 15 June 2010. Retrieved 21 January 2011.
  3. ^ https://archive.today/20121202133809/http://www.pmo.gov.my/?menu=page&page=1947 First Lady of Malaysia Unit webpage

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