At 94, Dr M says living past 75 ‘a bonus’, still wants to be useful

Radzi Razak
In an interview with host Natalie Sit in the Creative Cloud Community’s Live Talk session today, Dr Mahathir said he only expected to live until 75. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri

KUALA LUMPUR, June 3 — Until just recently the world’s oldest government leader, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad today said he is grateful to have lived to age 94 and still wants to be of service to his country — Malaysia.

In an interview with host Natalie Sit in the Creative Cloud Community’s Live Talk session today, Dr Mahathir said he only expected to live until 75.

“I am very grateful as I should live beyond the numbers of years I am expected to live. I thought 75 years should be enough for me but I am 94 now this is a bonus.

 “It is not something that I can get for myself just like that, but because I am able to live, I think that I should make use of my life usefully,” the 94-year old said, flashing his trademark grin.

Dr Mahathir who will soon turn 95 next month, also seemed to blush when he spoke about another thing he was grateful for in his life — his 64-year-old marriage with Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Mohamed Ali. They wed in August 1955.

“Well, I have been married for 60-over years.

 “I see many married people getting bored with their one spouse,” he said before stopping and smiling with flushed cheeks.

The couple met in 1947 as students at King Edward Medical College in Singapore.

Media reports and photographs over the years have shown the couple to be quite close and loving.

Dr Mahathir also said he stays very active even at his advanced age as it helps him to remain positive and mentally sharp.

 “Fear is always there but if you are going to worry about these things, you can’t be positive, you can’t contribute anything.

 “Whether you like it or not, you are going to die. The time will come when you die, but before that why should you waste your time?

“People when they are old, they are very forgetful. I am also forgetful so I keep on thinking, because things that I am thinking, I will not forget,” he said.

 “It is unfortunate, you see that I always tell people, the knife is a useful thing. It can be used to carve beautiful objects, but also can be used to kill people.

“So it is not the knife’s fault, it is the people. The parents should teach them good values since they were young.

“You can reject your desire to do the wrong thing,” he said.

Dr Mahathir has served as prime minister twice; the first from 1981 to 2003 and again from 2018 until February this year.

He had two coronary artery bypass surgeries in 1989 and 2007, but is known to be otherwise healthy and loves to read as it hones his mental capacity.

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