Mahathir's wife urges Malaysia's women to be 'queenmakers'

The wife of former Malaysian leader Mahathir Mohamad is urging women to support the opposition coalition in next month's general election for a better future.

Women account for nearly half of the 14.94 million voters eligible for May 9 polls that will pit Prime Minister Najib Razak's long-ruling coalition against an opposition alliance headed by his former mentor, Mahathir.

Siti Hasmah Mohamad Ali said Friday she was initially torn when Mahathir decided to return to politics due to his age but conceded after he said it was "his duty" to save the country. Her 92-year-old husband led Malaysia for 22 years until retiring in 2003.

She appealed for support for the opposition coalition, saying women can be the "queenmaker" of the elections.