Thursday, October 20, 2005

In Memory of Datin Seri Paduka Endon Mahmood

Today Malaysia loses her First Lady Datin Seri Paduka Endon Mahmood her demise will be a great loss to the local Malaysian arts and culture scene.

Datin with her passion for local handicrafts and traditions, has taken it upon herself to revitalise pride in Malaysian crafts, both locally and internationally.

She launched the Nyonya Kebaya - A Showcase exhibit in Kuala Lumpur in 2003. It was her hope that the exhibition and book will raise the awareness of the unique aspects of the cultural heritage of the Peranakans and inspire Malaysian designers and artist.

Currently her collection is on loan to The Asian Civilisation Museum (Singapore) from 9/3/2004 to 29/5/2005.

DATIN also wrote a book The Nyonya Kebaya: Century of Straits Chinese Costume


Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's wife, whom he described as his No. 1 supporter, died Thursday after a nearly four-year battle with breast cancer. She was 64.

Endon Mahmood's death -- which comes less than two months after she and Abdullah marked their 40th wedding anniversary -- is the biggest personal blow to the Malaysian leader since he took office in October 2003 following the retirement of his predecessor, longtime leader Mahathir Mohamad.

Endon, who recently underwent months of intensive chemotherapy in Los Angeles, passed away at the family's official residence Thursday morning in Putrajaya, Malaysia's administrative capital, after being released from a Malaysian hospital Monday, said Abdullah's spokeswoman, Esuriyanti Ahmad.

"The family members were at her side, everybody was there," Esuriyanti said, adding that Endon would be buried in a traditional Muslim funeral later Thursday.

Abdullah, Malaysia's fifth prime minister since the country achieved independence from Britain in 1957, had been married to Endon since September 4, 1965. They have a son, a daughter and four grandchildren.

Abdullah has often publicly called Endon his "No. 1 supporter."

When his mother died of natural causes in February 2004, Abdullah telephoned Endon in the United States, where she was undergoing treatment. She later told reporters that he said: "I've lost my mother and I don't want to lose you too."

Endon discovered she had breast cancer in 2002 following a checkup after her twin sister, Noraini, was earlier diagnosed with the disease.