CYBERJAYA, July 12 — The prime minister’s wife, Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali, celebrated her 93rd birthday today by playing violin for a good cause at the Yayasan Universiti Multimedia (YUM) Charity Hi-Tea.
She wowed the audience of about 450 with her rendition of Secret Garden — The Things You Are To Me, Gubahanku and Terkenang-kenang in her 15-minute presentation at the Multimedia University (MMU) here.
Before performing the keroncong tune titled Terkenang-kenang, Tun Dr Siti Hasmah said: “This is an old and evergreen song by Kartina Dahari. I play it with my heart.”
After her performance, a cake was presented to her and all the guests sang 'Happy Birthday' to her.
At the event, Dr Siti Hasmah also launched the YUM Knowledge Endowment Fund, a platform to generate more endowment funds from noble individuals and corporate organisations.
In her speech, Dr Siti Hasmah, who almost shed tears with the celebration, said she was honoured and touched by the generous donors for the YUM charity event.
Recalling her memories of being the first MMU chancellor for 15 years from 1997 to 2012, Dr Siti Hasmah said: "When I was elected to be the first chancellor, I was shocked as I did not know anything about Information Technology (IT). I did not even understand about IT and was made to be the chancellor.”
She said now MMU students were employed 'everywhere all over the world' and they were permata dunia.
“Whenever I go overseas there will always be someone who would come and say, Tun, I am from MMU,” she said.
Advising the MMU community to continue to work hard and with no retirement, she jokingly said: “The retirement age is 95.”
During the event, local singer Adibah Noor sang Wind Beneath My Wings, which is Dr Siti Hasmah’s favourite song.
Adibah also praised Dr Siti Hasmah for turning up for a few hours yesterday to rehearse for today's event.
“That was very humble of her as not many artistes will turn up for rehearsal. This is a good example for other performers,” she added.
Through the Knowledge Endowment Fund launched by Dr Siti Hasmah today, members of the public would be able to make contributions and donations that would benefit students and researchers at MMU.
According to an MMU statement distributed at the event, YUM has helped nearly 4,000 students from the B40 bracket since it was registered in 2009. — Bernama