KUALA LUMPUR: Looking healthy and fit at the age of 93, one would think that Dr Mahathir Mohamad must be exercising daily, perhaps for hours.
To the thousands of people attending the National Sports Day celebration at the Kuala Lumpur Sports City, Bukit Jalil, here today, the prime minister admitted that he is not active in sports.
Knowing that it contravened the common call for the people to exercise more and to live a healthy lifestyle, the prime minister jokingly advised the people not to emulate him in this aspect.
“I don’t really exercise my muscles and my body as much as I’ve told others to do.
“Be active, don’t be like me.
“Don’t follow Dr Mahathir. He told other people to exercise, but he himself didn’t do it,” he said in his speech.
Also present were his wife, Dr Siti Hasmah Mohamad Ali, and Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman.
Nevertheless, Mahathir said he played rugby during his school days.
“No more rugby for me now as I’m already old and weak, but don’t think that this old man cannot work.”
In conjunction with the National Sports Day celebration today, Mahathir called on the people to exercise their muscles and brain regularly to enable them to stay fit and healthy.
He said this was because more and more people were working or spending most of their time in air-conditioned offices or rooms without moving much of their muscles.
In fact, he said he also believed future aeroplanes will have special areas for the passengers to exercise, or even to play futsal, so that they could stretch their muscles during long-haul flights.
Speaking to reporters after the launch, Mahathir also congratulated the Malaysian contingent at the Asian Para Games for achieving the target of 15 gold medals.
“Our Asian para squad has succeeded in achieving the target. They played their hearts out even though they are in wheelchairs,” he said.
The prime minister also encouraged the national football team to learn from their mistakes and bounce back like the South Korean and Japanese teams.
“Our footballers must practise harder and learn more from professional players,” he added.