LONDON: Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, the world’s oldest leader at 93, today joked that the new retirement age is now 95.
“I hope to last until my retirement,” he said at a high tea gathering of Malaysians residing in the UK.
The veteran statesman returned to the office of prime minister after leading Pakatan Harapan to victory in the May 9 general election. He was previously prime minister from 1981 to 2003.
Speaking to the guests on the second leg of his visit to the UK, Mahathir said he hoped to solve many of the problems plaguing Malaysia but added that he “won’t be there for long”.
When asked if his wife, Dr Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali, had approved the delay of his retirement, Mahathir said she had no choice.
“She is very supportive. She goes wherever I go,” he said to applause from the guests.
Siti Hasmah was also present at the event, which was attended by about 500 Malaysians.
Citing the slogan of “leadership by example”, Mahathir said he had to set an example by working hard.
“Disease will kill you, work will not kill you. You must not only exercise the muscles of the body but also exercise your brain.”