Being in good health at the age of 94 isn’t something many can boast about, but running a country of over 30 million people at that age puts Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad on a whole other level.
Mahathir’s birthday wish this year, according to him, is “simple”.
In an Instagram post on Wednesday (July 10), he said: “My birthday wish is very simple, that I can finish my work setting Malaysia on the road of recovery.”
Business Insider takes a look back at five moments from Dr Mahathir and Dr Siti Hasmah’s relationship that made the internet say “aww”.
1) “Giggling like a lover boy”
According to Malay Mail, Mahathir and Dr Siti Hasmah first met in 1947 while studying at the King Edward Medical College in Singapore, and it was Mahathir who decided to make the first move by volunteering to tutor Dr Siti Hasmah in English.
They got married in 1956 and have been inseparable ever since.
In June, a reporter recounted his experience interviewing Mahathir during the PM’s three-day work visit to Japan earlier in May.
According to Prem Kumar Panjamorthy, when Mahathir was taking a break, Dr Siti Hasmah entered the room and told her husband: “You have not taken any rest since this morning. So please take some rest after this.”
Panjamorthy added that Mahathir then watched her walk out of the room “full of love in his eyes” while “giggling like a young lover boy”.
The couple’s interaction left such a deep impression that the Malaysian reporter said it would’ve been a sin not to share it.
2) The swearing in ceremony
The swearing in ceremony of Mahathir as Malaysia’s seventh PM in May 2018 marked the end of a six decade leadership by UNMO, and was a momentous occasion for all Malaysians.
And of course, his wife was with him all the way.
A video, which was published by Facebook page Malaysia Decides, shows Dr Siti Hasmah holding onto the PM’s hand lovingly after the swearing in ceremony.
In another video published by Video Tube on Facebook, the couple can be seen exchanging laughter before Mahathir reached out to embrace his wife tightly.
In an interview with CNN last year, Mahathir said Dr Siti Hasmah felt the same way about things he believed in, including loyalty, the country and his work.
“She accompanies me wherever I go and she is, in a sense, quite as dedicated to this idea of loyalty, patriotism that I have,” CNN quoted Mahathir as saying.
3) Musical partners
A couple that makes music together, stays together.
In June last year, a video that was initially uploaded by a Facebook user and later shared by The Star shows Mahathir humming along to a medley of songs that Dr Siti Hasmah was playing on the piano.
According to The Star, the video was taken in a hotel that the couple were staying at before they both met Indonesian President Joko Widodo during their two-day work visit to Jarkata.
4) His secret? Tolerance
A long-lasting marriage like Mahathir’s and Dr Siti Hasmah’s doesn’t come easy.
In an interview with Bernama last year, the PM shared his secret for maintaining a marriage.
He told Bernama that they have learned to accept their differences as a couple. He said: “[As] you grow older you realise that you cannot change your partner very much and she cannot change me very much and we learn to accept that this is what the person is like.”
5) Star Wars movie date
Despite his busy schedule, Mahathir still makes it a point to bring his wife out on a date every once in awhile.
In December 2017, he even asked for date ideas on Facebook, writing then: “Planning to have a date with Hasmah. What movie should we watch together?”
And it seems the winner was Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
Just three days after he posted the question on Facebook, Mahathir was spotted at a cinema watching the hit movie with Dr Siti Hasmah, The Malaysian insight reported.
While he’s had his fair share of controversial moments, well-wishes have been pouring in over the internet for his birthday, including one from Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.
In a Facebook post, PM Lee wished PM Mahathir a happy birthday, and said he was looking forward to welcoming him and his wife at Singapore’s National Day Parade on August 9.
Over on Twitter, people are posting their birthday greetings with the hashtag #TunM94.
Happy Birthday Tun @chedetofficial We are grateful for you & your leadership. May the abundance of great health, love and happiness be with you. You are magic and a blessing to us all 💖🥳🎂#TunM94 pic.twitter.com/UqTqKA34OS
— Zura (@mutiarazura) July 10, 2019
Happy birthday to the oldest and the goldest and the greatest prime minister in the history of our country and possibly in the world. Tun Dr. Mahathir, you make malaysia proud everyday. God bless you, Tun. @chedetofficial 🇲🇾❤️🌷#TunM94 pic.twitter.com/t2Y9RKZh7k
— Yeang (@wnrllfiqha) July 10, 2019
The oldest, brightest and bravest Prime Minister in the world; Tun Mahathir Mohamad turns 94 today. May Allah showers you with all His blessing, @chedetofficial 💕 Much love, prosperous and longevity, Tun. #TunM94 pic.twitter.com/vt6osOvvF4
— QúEɐNpYzA KinGMëD (@QuEeNpYzA) July 10, 2019
Wishing one of the Greatest Leader in the world a long lasting and totally blissful life. Thank you for your immense contribution to our country. Blessed birthday Tun! @chedetofficial
— Justin Prabakaran (@iamjustinpraba) July 9, 2019
10th July 1925 10th July 2019 pic.twitter.com/rYA7RwfXHI
— ReenGaston (@ReenGaston) July 9, 2019
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