Mahathir tackles 'too old to be PM' forum

Dr Mahathir Mohamad confronting the panel which was discussing whether he was too old to return as prime minister.
Dr Mahathir Mohamad confronting the panel which was discussing whether he was too old to return as prime minister.PHOTO: FACEBOOK/ MAHATHIR

KUALA LUMPUR • Sick of people sniping about his advancing years, Malaysia's 92-year-old former leader Mahathir Mohamad gatecrashed a forum where voters were discussing whether he was too old to return as prime minister.

"I am here guys. Say it to my face," tweeted a defiant Tun Dr Mahathir, who is seeking the top job again as the opposition's candidate in looming polls, with a picture of himself at the discussion late on Thursday.

Dr Mahathir, who led the country for 22 years until 2003, is back to take on Prime Minister Najib Razak at the election due by August. In the unlikely event that Datuk Seri Najib is unseated, Dr Mahathir would become the world's oldest prime minister.

At Thursday's forum, the three-man panel fell silent when the nonagenarian walked in midway, bringing many in the hall to their feet. The panel - comprising a political pundit, psychology expert and fitness coach - opened the floor to Dr Mahathir.

"There are two types of age. One in terms of years and another in terms of the body. The age of the body does not necessarily equate to the age in years," he told the forum in Shah Alam. "As far as health is concerned, I'm not senile yet."

The government has frequently attacked Dr Mahathir over his age.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 24, 2018, with the headline 'Mahathir tackles 'too old to be PM' forum'. Print Edition | Subscribe