Special place: Idris is sentimental about the picture of him back when he was singled out to read from his Jawi textbook by Dr Mahathir, who was then the Education Minister.
Datuk Seri Idris Haron’s journey from poor kampung boy to the office of the Chief Minister of Malacca is a story about overcoming tragedy and hardship to move up in life.
EVERYTHING looks the same in the plush official residence of the Malacca Chief Minister, from the cluster arrangement of the seating areas to the trays of cookies and crispy snacks laid out for visitors.
Well, everything except for the chief occupant and the pictures on the walls.
Datuk Seri Idris Haron, only seven months in the top job, has settled in going by the pictures of him hanging on the walls and placed on the side tables, all beautifully framed. They depict his political journey thus far. There are pictures of him with Umno leaders and he singled out the one with his predecessor and mentor Datuk Mohd Ali Rustam.
“Datuk Ali is like a father to me. He brought me into politics,” Idris said.
There are also the usual family photos. Idris’ wife Datin Seri Fadilah Abdullah, whom he married in 1992, is an attractive lady with a lovely smile and could easily pass off as the sister of their daughter Amira, 17, and son Hakim, 20.
But the most special picture of all where Idris, 47, is concerned is a reproduced black-and-white photo of a young Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, then the Education Minister, visiting a primary school in Malacca in 1975.
The Minister’s attention was on the boy in the front row of a class where a Jawi lesson was on. Dr Mahathir had asked the boy to read from the book and when the nervous boy stumbled on a line, Dr Mahathir read it out for him.
“I know what you are thinking. Dr Mahathir reads Jawi,” said Idris.