Nov 2, 2007

Tun Mahathir is active and doing 'very well'

Nice to know Tun Mahathir is doing well.

(TheStar) KUALA LUMPUR: Former premier Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has kept himself active and is doing very well, according to his wife Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali.

"He's walking around a lot more nowadays and is coping well with other exercises in his physiotherapy. But I'm definitely making sure that he gets all the rest that he needs," she said.

Dr Siti Hasmah has also imposed a "curfew" on her husband.

"He really wanted to be here today to meet all of you, but the doctors will not allow it. Even I will not let him," she joked during her speech at the Montblanc - Unicef "The Power to Write " campaign launch here Wednesday.

Dr Siti Hasmah opened the event on behalf of Dr Mahathir, who had agreed to endorse the global initiative by Montblanc aimed at promoting increased worldwide literacy among children.

"I'm proud that my husband is able to take part in this noble gesture, especially on this memorable day, which was when he stepped down as the Prime Minister four years ago," she quipped.

Actress and producer Datin Seri Tiara Jacquelina has also joined in the collaboration.

Across the world, Dr Mahatir and Tiara now join 149 prominent personalities from politics, arts, culture, business, sports and entertainment in the fight against illiteracy.

Two Meisterstuck Montblanc pens will bear the signatures of Dr Mahatir and Tiara, and for every pen sold, RM550 of its proceeds will be donated in support of Unicef education programmes in Latin America, Africa and Asia.

The pen retails at RM2,330 and will only be made available until Dec 31.

Dr Siti Hasmah spoke passionately of the issue of illiteracy, especially among children.

"Illiteracy is still prevalent among many children worldwide and it is a subject that is personal to my husband and I.

"There is no shortcut to eradicating illiteracy. Everyone, including parents, publishers, teachers and the public must play their role," she stressed.

She added that there were 115 million children worldwide missing out on their education.

In Malaysia, she said that the National Education Blueprint 2006/2010 found some 4% of primary schoolchildren and 0.8% of secondary schoolchildren illiterate.

"The findings showed the children being unable to completely master reading, writing and arithmetic skills.

"If nothing is done, this will frustrate our government's efforts of building the nation. More work definitely needs to be done," she said.

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