ALOR SETAR – The wife of new Kedah Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Ahmad Bashah Md Hanipah has described her husband as a man who tirelessly works to serve the people.
Datin Seri Hizam Awang Ahmad, 56, said her husband of 35 years was always open-minded and took criticisms hurled by society in his stride.
She said although Ahmad Bashah, 66, had been the target of negative comments from the public, including during the crisis over the menteri besar’s post since Jan 20, he was neither resentful nor vengeful of anyone.
“He (Ahmad Bashah) is like that…whatever criticisms hurled at him, he will just accept and not say anything as he knows this is just part of the political game. There are no politicians who are not criticised.
“He is a strong person so these (criticisms) will not break his spirit. Since young, he has had to shoulder the responsibility of looking after his siblings after his father died…so, he is a strong person,” she told reporters after attending an investiture in conjunction with the 88th birthday of the Sultan of Kedah, Sultan Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Shah at the Istana Anak Bukit today.
She said the couple’s four daughters, Anis Hafina (34); Amira Hazwani (29); Aliya Hanani (28) and Azira Hafizah, 25, also played a role in supporting Ahmad Bashah during the difficult times in his political career.
“They always support him to be strong and we also brought up our children not to be vengeful. Of course, this is the worst challenge and criticism during his 40 years in politics, but we always leave it to Allah.
“Besides, many of his friends are also encouraging and advising me to be patient,” she said, in reference to the criticisms hurled against Ahmad Bashah on the social media following his call that former menteri besar Datuk Seri Mukhriz Tun Dr Mahathir be replaced.
Meanwhile, Anis Hafina is confident her father is capable of leading the state well after being given the responsibility (of becoming menteri besar) by the Sultan of Kedah.
“Finally, all his hard work for 40 years in politics has been appreciated. Although many question his academic qualifications, I am confident his 40 years’ experience in politics will help him administer and unite the people of Kedah,” she told Bernama.
She said her father began his political career from the bottom and never lost his spirit as political will was in his blood.
“Although many people hurled criticisms, he never lost his spirit. We are used to this as this is the opinion of the public and we cannot stop people from talking.
“They do not know him personally, so as a family we do not bear any grudge. What we do is give him our undivided support to be strong in administering the state.”
Earlier today, Ahmad Bashah, who is Bakar Bata state assemblyman, was sworn in as Kedah’s 12th menteri besar at the Istana Anak Bukit before three members of the Kedah Council of Regency led by its chairman, Tan Sri Tunku Sallehuddin Sultan Badlishah.
With five terms as state assemblyman for Bakar Bata (formerly Alor Merah) since 1995, Ahmad Bashah is the most senior state UMNO leader. He was also state Exco for two terms from 1999 to 2008.
After the 13th General Election in 2013, Ahmad Bashah was appointed senator and also domestic trade, cooperatives and consumerism deputy minister.
He resigned from both posts yesterday after he was announced as Kedah menteri besar.