Sep 23, 2007

Tun Mahathir has surgery for chest infection: aide

Recent development of Tun Mahathir

(AFP) KUALA LUMPUR: Former Malaysian premier Mahathir Mohamad has had further surgery and has been put on a respirator after a recent heart bypass caused a chest infection, an aide said on Sunday.

Sufi Yusof said the next 72 hours will be the crucial period in Mahathir's post-operative care, adding that the ex-prime minister was in stable condition.

"He is on post-cardiac surgery support. Mahathir is not conscious and is breathing with the support of a respirator," he told AFP.

Sufi said Mahathir had the three-hour procedure late Saturday to remove infected tissue from his chest.

"Mahathir is expected to remain on support for at least 36 hours for post-operative care," he said.

Mahathir, who underwent a five-hour heart operation on September 4, was reportedly making a rapid recovery. He previously had bypass surgery in 1989.

Mahathir resigned in 2003 after 22 years in power, handing the reins over to the current prime minister, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

Despite retiring from office, Mahathir remains a hugely influential figure and has become an outspoken critic of his successor, accusing him of economic mismanagement, nepotism and corruption.

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