Nov 15, 2006

Dr M sorry for missing assembly

(MalaysiaKini) Delegates to the Umno annual assembly today were greeted with a personal note from former president Dr Mahathir Mohamad, apologising for missing the meeting this year.

In the short one-page note, Mahathir said that he was sorry for being unable to attend and participate the assembly.

“(However) I pray that the delegates have a purposeful meeting,” he said.

He signed of by mentioning his party registration number - 0000001.

The note was delivered to delegates as they entered the assembly venue at the Putra World Trade Centre in Kuala Lumpur.

The former prime minister was unable to attend the meeting due to his health conditions.

He suffered a mild heart attack last Thursday and was immediately rushed to the National Heart Institute (IJN).

After undergoing treatment for five days, the former premier was discharged yesterday evening, with strict orders from his doctors to take a complete rest.

Special prayers

His son Mukhriz said that his father will be resting at home and follow the party meeting proceedings on television.

For the first time in Malaysian television history, the proceedings is being shown live on television - by satellite station Astro.

Yesterday Mahathir’s family had special prayers for his wellbeing at a hotel in the city.

The prayers, which was attended by about 200 people, began with the Maghrib prayers followed by a recital of the `Yaasin' and Isyak prayers.

The 81-year-old ex-premier's heart attack was blamed on "excessive travelling" after his recent visits to Saudi Arabia and New Zealand.

Mahathir previously suffered a heart attack in 1989, when he underwent bypass surgery.

Bitter row

The former prime minister handed power to Abdullah Ahmad Badawi in October 2003 after leading the country for 22 years.

The two are embroiled in a bitter dispute, with Mahathir accusing Abdullah of economic mismanagement, corruption and nepotism - charges the incumbent leader has repeatedly denied.

Mahathir’s presence at the assembly was expected to increase the pressure on Abdullah to address these issues.

However, Abdullah is expected to answer some of these criticisms in his opening speech today.

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