North Korean doctor examined Mahathir

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Photo Credit: Termasuk Malaysia

Photo Credit: Termasuk Malaysia

Oriental Daily News, March 17, 2017

During his official visit to North Korea that year, Dr. Mahathir was the Deputy

Prime Minister. His wife Dr. Siti Hasmah wrote in her autobiography MY NAME

IS HASMAH (Kuala Lumpur: KarangKraf: 2016) that the delegation was made up

of local investors.


Nonetheless, obviously DR. Siti Hasmah would never forget the experience of

this trip. Upon arrival at a large guest house, as she was unpacked there was a

knock on the door, the same woman who brought them to the guest house was

accompanied by a gentleman in a white coat, “Madam, we would very much like

to examine His Excellency.”


After knowing about this, Mahathir was much perplexed, he turndown the offer

politely: “Tell them ‘thank you very much’ and say that I’m in good health.”

Well, sandwiched between two thoughts and two sets of ideas in the process of

negotiation, Dr. Siti Hasmah was caught in a dilemma.


Differences in Hospitality


“”Our North Korea Great Leader instructed us to examine His Excellency.”

On hearing this, Dr. Siti Hasmah had no choice but to go back to Mahathir who

was having his shower. “I think you better come out because the (North Korea)

Great Leader wants you to be examined to make sure you are in good health.”

The guest from afar, the number two leader from Malaysia had to submit to the

host, laying down on the bed and let the man in the white coat examine him.

Dr. Siti Hasmah later learnt that he was one of the most eminent professors of

medicine in the country. Nevertheless, she was embarrassed and thought that

fortunately she was not the honoured guest.


Little did she expect that the woman official then looked at her and said: “You are

next, Madam.”


Meanwhile, downstairs where Malaysian officials were staying, everyone was

being examined by the doctor. Why? Dr. Siti Hasmah said apparently they just

wanted to make sure the guests of the North Korea Great Leader were all OK.

(Page 183-186)


No matter what, it can be seen that the culture of one country is different from

another. The way they treated their guests is also different from us which is

beyond our imagination.


However, from this observation we know that the leader was caring and health

was his priority. Of course, what was his real intention behind the move is up to

the readers to guess.

Original Source: 朝鲜大夫体检马哈迪