Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad (Badawi) is truly Asian. One can trace his roots to China and Brunei and by marriage to Japan.
Abdullah or Pak Lah's maternal grandfather migrated from Kwantung, China to Penang in the middle of the 19th century. Hassan Salleh or Hah Su Chiang settled down in Bayan Lepas upon arrival from China. He was welcomed by the local Brunei Malays of Bayan Lepas, particularly residents of kampung Perlis and kampung masjid.
The Brunei Malays are descendants of Pengiran Muhammad Salleh and Kalthom Raden Yahya (Tok Jaya). A village in Seberang Perai, Permatang Tok Jaya was named after Raden Yahya.
Hassan or Su Chiang planted rubber trees, padi and traded in jewellery and emerged as a wealthy man in Bayan Lepas. He had three wives and 13 children - two with his first wife, Salbiah Abbas, five with his second wife Siti Rahmah Abdul Rahman and six, including Pak Lah's late mother Datuk Kailan, with his third wife Kamariah Abdul Razak.
Kamariah's father, Abdul Razak bin Sulaiman, came from the same kampung as my late grandmother Mahzom Muhammad Salleh, they were the great-grandchildren of Pengiran Muhammad Salleh and Kalthom Raden Yahya, thus the Brunei connection.
The late Datin Seri Endon's mother is from Japan, and Pak Lah's second marriage to Jeanne (Danker) Abdullah added another flavour to his life. Jeanne is Eurasian. I wonder whether she is related to my Old Xaverian friend Tony Danker of Penang.
Hearty Congratulations and Best Wishes to YAB Datuk Seri Abdullah bin Haji Ahmad and Jeanne Abdullah.