Suit Up
Her World Malaysia|September 2018

Hannah Yeoh reveals what life is like as a deputy minister and how motherhood has prepared her for this unexpected political journey.

Poon Li-Wei

Life has been a whirlwind for Yang Berhormat Hannah Yeoh, not so much right after GE14, but rather, after the 2nd of July when she was sworn in as the Deputy Minister of Women, Family and Community Development. At the time of speaking, she’s just three weeks into the job, but has already experienced one of the toughest weeks to date with the case of baby Adam Rayqal Mohd SufiNaeif, whose body was found in a fridge. “I went to the hospital to meet his parents and felt so much for them. I used to be very afraid of dead bodies, but I’ve seen so many in my job in the last 10 years and when the doctor asked if I’d like to see Adam, I said yes,” she recalls, solemnly, before explaining, “I go for funerals and do things many politicians may feel is a waste of time, but I think it’s important for me to understand certain things. With Adam, it’s a lack in the law and in the vetting process that we need to fix so that his death is not in vain.” It’s this empathy and compassion that further drive home the fact that no one is better suited for the job than Hannah.

PROS AND CONS

When asked if she had ever envisioned life as a politician, she replies in the negative, but you can’t deny the spark in her eyes as she divulges her gratitude in being able to work on a portfolio she feels extremely passionate about: children. “It makes going to work easier,” she affirms, before cautioning, “But because it’s my passion, it can be emotionally draining as well. Sometimes, when you don’t get your way, it’s not just a ‘no’ – you feel your heart break.” Not to mention, investigating child abuse cases may be at the very forefront of her job, but there are just days she can’t bring herself to watch videos documenting it, because they remind her heartbreakingly of her very own children.

A MOTHER FIRST

With two daughters, one aged seven and the other aged five, juggling the roles of a mother and a deputy minister can be as rewarding as it is exhausting. She quips, “I’m just living one day at a time.” On one hand, her children have been craving for more of her time ever since she made the move to Segambut – even crying for their mother when Parliament ends late a few days in a row. “My seven-year-old told me if my new job is too difficult, I should just quit. Her father had to explain that you can’t just quit because some things are tough. So, I try to show them photos and videos of my work in hopes they will understand that I’m not just caring for them, but for other children in Malaysia as well,” she shares.

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM HER WORLD MALAYSIAView All

YOU'VE GOT A FRIEND IN ME

“More than half of my time is spent with animals, but I enjoy it,” enthuses animal rescuer, Aileen Lee. The story of this selfless lady’s dedication and love for the fur kids she has saved will warm your heart.

8 mins read
Her World Malaysia
May - June 2020

MISSION: Catification

We discover why pet proofing your home ensures harmony and safety for both the owner and the cat.

2 mins read
Her World Malaysia
May - June 2020

THE ONE WHO'S TAKING ACTION

Best known for her extensively waitlisted Nina bag, Gabriela Hearst walks the talk when it comes to sustainable luxury. The New York-based designer shares her inspirations, dreams and resolutions for herself and her eponymous label.

3 mins read
Her World Malaysia
May - June 2020

BORN TO ENTERTAIN

YOU MIGHT RECOGNISE HER AS THE GENTLE AND LOVING MOTHER IN LEE CHONG WEI, THE BIOPIC OF THE BADMINTON LEGEND, OR THE VULNERABLE YET RESILIENT TEACHER IN WET SEASON, WHICH HIT THE CINEMAS IN MARCH. SOME OF US MAY HAVE SEEN YEO YANN YANN ON THE BIG SCREEN PLAYING VARIOUS CHARACTERS FOR MORE THAN A DECADE. STILL, SHE NEVER FAILS LEAVE HER AUDIENCE IN AWE OF HER ACTING PROWESS.

10+ mins read
Her World Malaysia
May - June 2020

THE TRUTH BEHIND FAUX FUR

Is imitation fur still a feasible alternative in this modern, fashion-forward world? Nadhirah Othman uncovers how the fur industry – both real and fake – brings a detrimental impact to the well-being of our planet.

4 mins read
Her World Malaysia
May - June 2020

Surprising reasons WHY YOUR KID is under performing in school

You’re understandably frustrated that your child isn’t living up to her potential. But before you blame her attitude, check if these conditions are hindering her academically.

9 mins read
Her World Malaysia
May - June 2020

A PAWSITIVE' Life

Like in many parts of the world, pet culture has seen exponential growth in Malaysia. In this issue, Lorraine Chai discusses pet therapy, a method of treatment that is gaining traction, and also some of the pet trends you don’t want to miss out on.

10 mins read
Her World Malaysia
May - June 2020

The Healing Power Of Unconditional Love

There’s a saying that goes, “Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.” For one woman, these words resonated deeply. An unlikely companion came into her life at her lowest point and changed everything.

7 mins read
Her World Malaysia
May - June 2020

Even Pets Need Tummy Care?

For many, keeping a pet is more than just caring for an animal; pets are family members, too. We speak to veterinary surgeon, Dr Wafaa Abdul Washefffrom Pets Corner Sdn Bhd, to find out how your pets can stay healthy with a suitable diet

3 mins read
Her World Malaysia
May - June 2020

Beauty The Natural Way

With climate change rapidly threatening the future of Mother Earth, we urgently need to curb further acts of destruction. We speak to Law Hong Mei, founder of The Olive Tree, about building a beauty brand that is sustainable from the core.

5 mins read
Her World Malaysia
May - June 2020
RELATED STORIES

FIRE RESISTANCE

Most Americans can be terminated for no reason at any time. But 70,000 fast-food workers are about to gain major protections. Who’s next?

10+ mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
June 28, 2021

America's Trumpiest Attorney General Is Under Indictment Himself

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has waged some of the country’s most partisan legal battles while charged with fraud. Will his allegiance to Trumpism help him survive a fresh round of corruption allegations?

10+ mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
June 28, 2021

Animating Africa

Nairobi startup Kukua is riding a wave of interest in Afro-futuristic stories

4 mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
June 28, 2021

Hot Shorts Summer

Traders who bet on bad news are the necessary foils of meme stocks

9 mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
June 28, 2021

Global Giants Need India's Tiny Stores

Amazon, Walmart, and Reliance’s Jio want mom and pop shops to order goods online and help with delivery

6 mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
June 28, 2021

The 9 Million Who Slipped Through the Cracks

A record number of Americans filed for unemployment during the Covid recession—and a record number didn’t get any money

10 mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
June 28, 2021

Latin America's E-Commerce Giant Tries Finance

MercadoLibre leverages a Covid-era e-commerce boom to bolster its financial services

5 mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
June 28, 2021

The Limits of Lina Khan's Power

The FTC’s new chair wants to curb Big Tech. Getting courts to agree won’t be easy

5 mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
June 28, 2021

The Little Guys Take A Bite Out of DoorDash

Homegrown alternatives to big food delivery apps are springing up across the U.S.

4 mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
June 28, 2021

Will a Strongman Relent?

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro is indicating he wants to change his ways. Let’s see

6 mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
June 28, 2021