KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 13 — Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad today released his eulogy on the death of Queen Elizabeth II, who died five days ago.
Taken aback by the news of the Queen’s death, Dr Mahathir, who is 97 years old, noted their age difference of merely one year.
“I really did not expect her to pass away when she did. She was only one year younger than me,” he said in a Facebook post that detailed some memories between the two.
He described the Queen as a “good example of a constitutional monarch,” and that her death is not a loss to the British but to the people who believe in the rule of law.
He related how the Queen had visited Malaysia twice during his tenure as prime minister, saying the monarch was always gracious and a pleasure to host.
“I am saddened by the death of the Queen. I had met her on many occasions, especially during meetings of the British Commonwealth,” he said.
Dr Mahathir also told of a jocular speech he gave on the English language, which was broadcast by British state broadcaster BBC during her golden jubilee and left the Queen laughing.
“In Zimbabwe, I made a speech in which I pointed out that what is said in English is not what is meant. Thus, the presiding officer in Parliament is called Mr Speaker, but he may not speak,” he recalled.
“The Malay sultans are called the rulers, but they may not rule. The British adviser ruled.
“Then there is the British Commonwealth where the wealth is not common,” he added.
The queen, who was 96, died at the Balmoral Castle in the Scottish Highlands and her state funeral is scheduled for this weekend.
She was the longest reigning monarch in British history.