Dec 4, 2006

PM: It's Still Too Hard To Talk About Endon

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 3 (Bernama) -- One year has passed by but for Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, it is still too hard to talk or even write anything about his late wife, Datin Seri Endon Mahmood.

Relating his thoughts and feeling to families and friends present at the launching of the book "A Bouquet of Jasmines : Friends and Family Remember Kak Endon", Abdullah said that he was not ready to write and describe Endon.

"I found it difficult to say about Endon. Whatever I say is not enough, whatever I say will not describe her fully as a person that she was," he said sedately.

"A Bouquet of Jasmines : Friends and Family Remember Kak Endon", a publication of Yayasan Budi Penyayang is to commemorate the first anniversary of the passing of Endon, its founder and the late First Lady.

Also present were Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Syed Sirajuddin Syed Putra Jamalullail; Raja Permaisuri Agong Tuanku Fauziah Tengku Abdul Rashid; Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar; Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Datuk Seri Utama Dr Rais Yatim; Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil and several other ministers and deputy ministers.

The pink-covered book was later launched by the Raja Permaisuri Agong.

Speaking further, Abdullah said that feeling was certainly the reason that one could not find any article from him in the book, and the same was also true of his children.

"Nori too when asked (to write) she said she was not ready to write, neither was Kamal (Kamaluddin)," he said.

It was only Nori's husband, Khairy Jamaluddin who contributed an article relating his experiences with and memories of his late mother in-law.

"But I thank those who came up with the idea because it gave us an opportunity to know what people thought about Endon," he said.

Describing Endon as 'Truly Malaysian' for her friendly attitude where she treated everyone equally regardless of one's position, Abdullah said, Endon was also liked by many for her endless effort in extending help to whoever were in need.

"She used to tell me, Lah... what is most important is what you are and not who you are... that is the most important value judgement that she has of any one that she has come to know," he said.

As for him, Abdullah said, Endon always regarded him just as a husband, not a minister, deputy prime minister or even a prime minister.

"Because she valued me for what I am, not because I am a minister, deputy minister or prime minister, she loved me just the same... and she loved me just as much as I love her," he said adding the Endon was also a perfectionist.

"This is something that I am always grateful to God... the day that she died was the perfection that she would like," he added.

Endon died on Oct 20 last year, the day of Nuzul Quran and was laid to rest after the Asar prayer, the preferred time for burial of Muslims, said Abdullah before admitting to his audience that he could not go on talking about her.

Abdullah also left a message to those present, especially his children to continue doing the good work that was once carried out by Endon as a remembrance to her.

"I have no more stories to tell but for all those 40 years of our life together is for me to remember, to cherish and to keep in my heart," he said.

"A Bouquet of Jasmines : Friends and Family Remember Kak Endon" is a 132-page coffee-table book, containing 101 photographs, with 14 members of Endon's family paying tribute.

The book is retailed at RM198 and is available at all MPH bookstores and other leading bookstores in Malaysia and Singapore.

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