Former Malaysian PM Mahathir hospitalised for elective medical procedure

Former Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamad has a history of heart problems. PHOTO: REUTERS

KUALA LUMPUR (REUTERS) - Former Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamad, 96, has been admitted to hospital for an elective medical procedure, the National Heart Institute (IJN) said on Friday (Jan 7).

No visitors were allowed, IJN said in its statement. No further details were given.

It is the second time in as many months that Tun Dr Mahathir has been hospitalised at the institute. He was admitted on Dec 16 before being discharged a week later.

The former premier has a history of heart ailments. He has had three heart attacks - one in 1989 and two in 2006 - and has undergone quadruple bypass surgery. He has periodically been admitted to IJN for check-ups over the years.

Dr Mahathir served nearly 24 years in total as Malaysia’s prime minister over two separate terms, leading the Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Harapan (PH) administrations.

He last served as premier from 2018 to early 2020, when the PH government collapsed due to his resignation and mass defections from his then party, Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia.

He is the Member of Parliament for the Langkawi constituency in his home state of Kedah, and chairman of the opposition Parti Pejuang Tanah Air Malaysia.

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