PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Despite being under orders from his doctor to rest for a month after gall bladder surgery, Malaysia's Economic Affairs Minister Azmin Ali cannot stay away from work.
Datuk Seri Azmin said he was given medical leave for a month from Feb 1 to recuperate fully but came back to work on Friday (Feb 8) to attend to some urgent office matters.
The Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) deputy president was admitted to hospital for surgery on Feb 1 and was discharged on Tuesday.
He said he was initially supposed to have undergone surgery about three weeks ago but deferred it to the Chinese New Year holiday break instead.
"I informed the Prime Minister about my surgery three weeks ago but the doctors needed some time so I postponed my operation to the Chinese New Year holidays so that you (the media) won't disturb me," Mr Azmin said in jest when met at a gathering with PKR's Srikandi, the party's wing for young women.
He has been given the thumbs-up by doctors following a post-surgery check-up on Friday but was also warned not to exert himself.
"My doctors were not happy about my post-surgery activities which they read about on social media. They gave me a stern reminder and I will be okay so long as I don't exert myself," he said.
Mr Azmin also joked that he had lost 10kg after his surgery and now weighed 79kg, adding that he now looked five years younger.
Responding to talk that he would be appointed deputy prime minister, Mr Azmin joked that he was unaware of it as he was under anaesthesia for his operation at the time.
Mr Azmin said he will visit several states and help Pakatan Harapan's campaign for the Semenyih by-election.
The Election Commission has fixed nomination day on Feb 16, early voting on Feb 26, and polling for ordinary voters on March 2.
Mr Azmin said he will be staying in the Selangor state constituency during the campaign period so that he can play an active part in the campaign.
"I will be 'camping out' in Semenyih as it is part of Selangor which is close to my heart," said Mr Azmin.