Malaysia's ex-PM Mahathir 'in high spirits' after elective medical procedure

Tun Dr Mahathir, 96, was admitted to the institute on Jan 7 ahead of an elective medical procedure. PHOTO: REUTERS

KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysia's former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad has undergone an elective medical procedure at the National Heart Institute (IJN) and is expected to be discharged in the next few days.

In a statement issued on Sunday (Jan 9), the institute said that the procedure was uneventful and went as planned.

"(Tun Dr Mahathir) is currently recuperating well. He is fully awake and in high spirits," the institute said.

Tun Dr Mahathir, 96, was admitted to the institute last Friday ahead of an elective medical procedure.

The institute did not offer any additional details about the procedure, but Dr Mahathir had spent a week at IJN in December to undergo a check-up and a series of unspecified medical investigations.

Dr Mahathir has 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 has a history of heart ailments and has regularly sought treatment at IJN. He had three heart attacks previously - one in 1989 and another two in 2006.

He had also undergone a quadruple bypass.

Dr Mahathir is still active in politics, leading his own opposition party Parti Pejuang Tanah Air, and serving as MP for Langkawi constituency in Kedah.

He is expected to lead Pejuang into a crowded electoral battlefield in Malaysia's next election due in 18 months.

When he was 92, Dr Mahathir led the then opposition coalition PH to a historic win at the 2018 general election, resulting in him becoming the world's oldest prime minister at the time.

He resigned midway through his term in early 2020 after a series of lawmaker defections caused the PH administration to collapse.

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