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Tuesday January 3, 2006

My parents my lifeline

Tuanku Siti Aishah: ‘My parents gave me the courage and confidence to move on in life’
KUALA LUMPUR: Datin Seri Shamshina Abdul Rahman sat in a corner of a room at Carcosa Seri Negara where the interview with former Raja Permaisuri Agong Tuanku Siti Aishah Abdul Rahman was conducted. 

The former teacher kept wiping her tears with a tissue as her daughter spoke about her past and future. 

Next to Shamshina was her husband Datuk Seri Abdul Rahman Mohd Yatim, a retired armed forces leftenant colonel.  

The 34-year-old former queen also kept making references to her parents as she spoke. This noticeably moved them. 

“I am grateful to my family. They are always there to counsel and guide me. They were the ones I turned to when Almarhum (Yang di-Pertuan Agong and Sultan of Selangor Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz) passed away. 

“My parents gave me the courage and confidence to move on in life. 

“They have always been my mentors and will always be till the end of my and their lives. I love them very dearly.  

“They keep my feet on the ground. They always give me good, sound advice and constructive criticism.  

“They have a duty 24x7, 365 days. It is a lifetime contract with my parents.”  

She was the eldest in a family of four sisters and one brother, and they grew up in various parts of the country as her father was posted to different army bases. 

She described her father, a former champion national sharpshooter, as a disciplinarian. 

Tuanku Siti Aishah described the late Sultan Salahuddin as “leader in his own league”. 

“He instilled in me the need to be humble, even if one was the king. Almarhum was a simple man, approachable, and he mixed freely with the rakyat.” 

The late King, she said, was also a disciplined person.  

“He was a punctual person and was surrounded by clocks in the palace.” 

Since his demise, Tuanku Siti Aishah has been keeping busy looking after her two nephews and the children at “Kem Hafazan”, a place where children learn the Quran.  

She is also actively involved in charitable organisations, a trait which she learned from the late King. 

“I also tried my hand at giving motivational talks to UPSR students in Kuala Lumpur,” she added. 

“I have inspired my sister Elly Nur to build her career, to become a successful pastry chef. I occasionally learn some recipes from her and I am still sharpening my cooking skills,” she said.  

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