Oct 21, 2007

Tun Mahathir discharged after heart operation

Tun Mahathir was discharged.

KUALA LUMPUR (AFP) — Former Malaysian premier Mahathir Mohamad was discharged from hospital Sunday, seven weeks after undergoing his second heart bypass surgery.

The 82-year-old waved to onlookers as he left the National Heart Institute with his wife and children, the state Bernama news agency said.

"My father is happy to be able to go home. He wants to be in a different environment and wishes to rest," his daughter Marina Mahathir told Bernama.

Mahathir had the bypass on September 4 and three weeks later underwent a second surgery to remove infected chest tissue, which forced him to go back into an intensive care ward.

The National Heart Institute said in a statement that Mahathir had made good progress since the second operation, and will continue with his physiotherapy programme at home.

The political veteran went in for the surgery after suffering two heart attacks in the past year. He had previous heart 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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