Nov 9, 2006

Malaysia's Mahathir suffers mild heart attack

KUALA LUMPUR (AFP) - Malaysia's former premier Mahathir Mohamad has suffered a mild heart attack but is in stable condition in a Kuala Lumpur hospital, his son said.

"He had chest pains late last night and early this morning, so we called his doctors and they suspected it was a minor heart attack," his son Mokhzani told AFP.

"So we took him to the National Heart Institute and the tests confirmed that's exactly what he had."

Mokhzani said the 82-year-old Mahathir -- who ruled Malaysia for 22 years until handing power to current Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi in October 2003 -- was conscious and in stable condition.

"From the reports the doctors put out today, there is no requirement for any invasive procedures," he said.

Mahathir is embroiled in an ugly dispute with Abdullah, accusing his successor of economic mismanagement, corruption and nepotism, charges which the current premier has repeatedly denied.

The feud has shocked and dismayed members of the ruling United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) and raised fears of party divisions.

Some have called for Mahathir to be kicked out of UMNO and stripped of key advisory roles in state firms.

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