KUALA LUMPUR: Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali jokingly shared how she managed to hold hands with two handsome world leaders while on recent official functions with Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
The Prime Minister's wife related the incidents in a lighthearted way, where she held the hands of Russian President Vladimir Putin and Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan.
''My daughter-in-law saw the reports online and she teased me that she was 'ashamed' of me flirting with Putin.
''Putin was one of the lustrous leaders who came to our humble house during an official visit to Kuala Lumpur.
''He came to visit during the 10 years when we were sidelined, and of course, not invited to many functions,'' she said, adding that Putin insisted to visit them at their home when Dr Mahathir met him at a hotel.
''So he came to our house, which was the smallest with no fence and not like other palaces on his way back to the airport.
''What would you like to feel when a person like Putin come to your house?'' said Dr Siti Hasmah, adding that Putin invited them to his house when they went to Moscow and met with his wife.
Earlier, Dr Siti Hasmah attended a cheque presentation ceremony by Global Doctors Malaysia to three NGOs here on Tuesday evening.
During the 33rd Asean Summit in Singapore last month, Dr Siti Hasmah recalled that Putin had insisted to meet them there so that they could spend more time talking.
''He was staying at the same hotel as we were and was heavily guarded by over 100 security personnel at that time.
''Eventually the guards let us in. After shaking his hand and meeting him, of course we have to take pictures, right?
''I had to hold someone's hand, so I held his. Why are you so envious? What's wrong with that?'' she asked in jest, leaving the crowd in stitches.
Dr Siti Hasmah, who won hearts globally after the video of her gleefully asking to hold Imran's hand has been widely shared on social media, said she did that because Imran also visited their home.
''He was another illustrious son who came to our humble home.
''Twice he came to Malaysia and twice he came to our home.
''That’s the reason why. They treat me as their mother.
''So what’s wrong with that? Why are you jealous?'' she said, as the crowd erupted in another round of laughter.
Revealing that she has a poor eyesight, Dr Siti Hasmah also urged the audience to take good care of their eyesight and hearing.
''I can’t see your faces. In most instances, I don’t even recognise my own children until I hear their voices when they come and kiss my cheeks,'' she said.
She also related an embarrassing incident where she mistakenly held the hand of another man while on an official visit in Tokyo with Dr Mahathir.
''It was someone else's hand ... I was so ashamed.
''I scolded my husband, and told him that’s what happens when you’re not beside me.
''So take care of your eyesight and hearing so that you don’t end up in embarrassing situations like this,'' she added.
A total of RM111,000 was presented to three NGOs - the National Autism Society of Malaysia, Malaysian Rare Disorders Society and Childline Malaysia.
It was presented by Global Doctors Group chairperson Datuk Dr Sharifah Fauziah Alhabshi while Dr Siti Hasmah witnessed the handover.
The sum was raised during a charity dinner held on Nov 16.
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