May 16, 2007

Updates on Tun Mahathir's condition

Update on Tun Mahathir's condition.

(AFP NEWS) KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's ailing former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad is recovering well after being admitted to hospital suffering breathing difficulties, his son and aides said Tuesday.

The 81-year-old was flown from the resort island of Langkawi, where he was admitted Monday, to a specialist heart hospital in the capital Kuala Lumpur.

"The decision to transfer Mahathir... was made after doctors were satisfied at his positive rate of progress to treatment," his aide Sufi Yusoff said in a statement.

"He is okay and he is very fine and is recovering well," Mahathir's son, Mokhzani Mahathir, told reporters.

"He spoke to the family members and told us that he was hungry."

Mokhzani said a team of doctors had done a thorough check-up on Mahathir, including an x-ray and heart tests.

"He will be here for a few more days and he thanked everybody for their concerns and their prayers," Mokhzani said.

Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, who arrived in Langkawi on Monday for two days of informal talks with his Singaporean counterpart, Lee Hsien Loong, said he hoped Mahathir's condition will improve.

"I hope he will be looked after and gets good treatment," Abdullah told reporters in Langkawi.

The National Heart Institute on Tuesday said Mahathir, who was admitted to the coronary care unit (CCU), is "awake and conscious" and has had a meal.

"He remained stable with no breathing difficulties and will be monitored in CCU," the hospital said in a statement.

Visits to the former premier are limited to close family members only on doctors' advice, it said.

Scuffles broke out between photographers and hospital security staff, who prevented pictures of Mahathir being taken as he was brought into the clinic.

Earlier Tuesday, an aide, who asked not to be identified, said Mahathir was "calm, relaxed and cheerful," and in stable condition.

The former leader suffered a mild stroke last November which was triggered by a clot that restricted blood flow in one of his arteries.

He also suffered a heart attack in 1989 and had bypass surgery.

Mahathir retired from office in 2003 after 22 years in power, handing over to Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, whom he has since accused of nepotism and corruption.

While BERNAMA highlights Abdullah Hopes Dr Mahathir Makes Full Recovery as the headline.

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