Sunday June 10, 2007
PM weds Jeanne in private do
By MAZWIN NIK ANIS
PUTRAJAYA: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and Datin Seri Jeanne Abdullah were married in a simple and private ceremony attended by close family members at his official residence of Seri Perdana yesterday.
Jeanne, 53, became the Prime Ministers wife at around 2.50pm in a ceremony solemnised by acting Putra Mosque Imam Abd Manaf Mat and witnessed by some 50 relatives, including Abdullahs children Datuk Kamaluddin and Nori and their spouses and Jeannes children from her previous marriage, Nadiah and Nadene.
Also at the akad nikah ceremony were the Prime Ministers siblings and family members of his late wife, Datin Seri Endon Mahmood.
Seen entering the residence before the ceremony was Yayasan Budi Penyayang chief executive officer Leela Mohd Ali.
Earlier, Jeanne had been escorted by two outriders to Seri Perdana, in a Proton Chancellor car bearing the Prime Ministers favourite license number 13, from her home in Damansara Perdana.
Her arrival at around 2.20pm marked an upswing in the activities surrounding the official residence since morning, when vans bearing flowers and gifts, and catering staff made their way to the gate.
However, reporters staking out at the gate, some of whom had been there from as early as 8am, were disappointed to see that she arrived in a heavily tinted car, making it impossible for them to catch a glimpse of the bride.
The solemnisation ceremony then got under way, the highlight of which was Abdullah slipping a diamond solitaire ring on Jeannes fourth finger on her left hand. He followed this with a kiss on her cheek, according to those who witnessed the ceremony.
The newlyweds, who were dressed in matching cream-coloured baju melayu and baju kurung, and their guests later visited Endons grave in Precinct 20, where Abdullah led special prayers dedicated to his late wife.
When scattering rose petals and scented water, Abdullah remarked to reporters that Muslims planted trees at the grave so that these would pray for the deceased.
Looking buoyant and happy, with his new wife by his side, he had earlier greeted reporters who had been congregating at the gravesite for an hour, some of whom congratulated him on his marriage.
When approached, Abdullah good-humouredly informed the press that he had only had to lafaz nikah sekali sahaja (proclaim his vows only once).
The solemnisation of marriage went on smoothly and those who attended it included my children, my siblings and their spouses, those from Kak Endons side as well as (son-in-law) Khairys (Jamaluddin) mother and (daughter-in-law) Azrenes mother and my grandchildren.
They are all my closest family members and, Alhamdulillah (thank God), everything went well, he said.
Abdullah also obligingly showed the press the ring that he had presented to Jeanne during the ceremony, holding her left hand. Jeanne, who looked resplendent in a beaded baju kurung and scarf, did not speak to the press but smiled.
Kamaluddin said the family welcomed their new mother and that everything had gone smoothly.
She is our new family member, he said.
Jeannes daughter Nadene, 27, said her mother had at first seemed calm until she arrived at the surau in Seri Perdana.
It was only then that she felt jittery because she realised what was happening. Everything went well and lets hope for the best, she said.
Asked if she was acquainted with her new family members, Nadene said they were all already family and there was nothing new to us.
We (Nori and I) are close. We are cousins and our age gap is very close, she said.
The wedding ceremony was over in a matter of minutes, opening a new chapter in Abdullahs life. His wife of 42 years, Endon, died in October 2005 after a long battle with breast cancer.
Jeanne was formerly married to Endons younger brother Othman, who was also at the ceremony.