Mahathir in hospital with chest infection

92-year-old former Malaysian PM admitted for 'a few days' to be treated after bad coughing bout

Ms Marina Mahathir visiting her father in hospital yesterday. Doctors have advised visits only for close family members.
Ms Marina Mahathir visiting her father in hospital yesterday. Doctors have advised visits only for close family members.PHOTO: MARINA MAHATHIR / TWITTER

KUALA LUMPUR • Former Malay-sian prime minister and now opposition leader Mahathir Mohamad has been admitted to the National Heart Institute (IJN) over a chest infection.

The IJN in Kuala Lumpur said in a statement that the 92-year-old Pakatan Harapan (PH) chairman was being treated in the general ward for the infection after a bad bout of coughing.

"Dr Mahathir will be admitted for a few days to allow for treatment and observation. Visits only for close family members," the IJN said, as quoted by The Star newspaper.

His daughter Marina Mahathir tweeted that she had visited her father at IJN yesterday, together with a picture of the two of them sitting on a couch smiling.

"Went to visit Dad this morning. He's good, just needs some rest. He'll be back to kick some butts again soon!" she tweeted.

Umno vice-president Hishammuddin Tun Hussein wished Dr Mahathir a speedy recovery.

The Defence Minister and Johor MP said he was unaware that Dr Mahathir had been hospitalised.

"I pray that Dr Mahathir will have a speedy recovery before the coming general election," he said yesterday at an event in Kluang, Johor, as quoted by The Star.

Despite his age, Dr Mahathir has been busily travelling around Malaysia to speak at many political rallies.

He was to attend his Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia's (PPBM) programme in Bentong, in Pahang state yesterday but cancelled the appearance the previous evening, following doctors' advice.

Dr Mahathir had coronary bypass surgery in 1989 and 2007.

But he has shown little sign of physical fatigue in the past year since setting up PPBM and manouvering his way to get appointed PH chairman and the alliance's prime ministerial candidate should it take federal power.

With the general election expected within weeks, he has also been busy tamping down quarrels within his own party and the intra-party bickering in the four-party PH alliance, as well as that with the wider opposition parties.

While PH has agreed on seat distribution for the 222 parliamentary seats, negotiations are still ongoing for state-assembly seats in Selangor and Johor, with some of the heated disagreements spilling outside the meeting rooms in the past week.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on February 11, 2018, with the headline 'Mahathir in hospital with chest infection'. Subscribe