Don’t listen to rumours about Tun Dr. Mahathir’s health

There had been too much unfounded rumours about Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad’s health and condition, building up just prior to the open chest debridement surgery two Saturdays ago. Some of these rumours are so far off that his family members are compelled to react and quash them. has a story about this:

                                                                                                            October 02, 2007 19:52 PM

Don’t Listen To Rumours On My Father’s Health, Says Mukhriz E-mail this news to a friend Printable version of this news



KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 2 (Bernama) — The people should not listen to rumours that the health condition of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who is recuperating from a heart operation, has deteriorated.

Denying the rumours sent via short messaging service (SMS), his son, Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir, said his family would not hide or lie on the real condition of the former prime minister.

He said the people should follow progress of his father’s health through press statements issued by the National Heart Institute (IJN) and from postings on the blog of his elder sister, Datin Paduka Marina Mahathir, at

He said the blog had postings on the daily progress of Dr Mahathir’s condition.

“I am quite surprised over such rumours because the IJN issues statements and my family, through my sister, gives updates on my father’s condition regularly through her blog.

“That’s why I am quite surprised why there are still mischievous SMSses being sent out. Actually, this is not something new. Even when my father was ill before, such SMSses were circulated,” he told reporters when asked to comment on rumours that Dr Mahathir’s health condition was serious.

Asked whether the SMS senders had ulterior motives, Mukhriz said: “I don’t know. Maybe they have ill intentions. But what surprises me is our attitude to forward SMSses to others without verifying the facts.”

Dr Mahathir, 81, underwent a second heart bypass operation on Sept 4 at IJN.

Asked when Dr Mahathir would be discharged, Mukhriz said it was up to the specialists at IJN to decide.

“For now, we hope for the best. Our focus now is to ensure he receives the best treatment from IJN and when he is discharged, he is healthy,” he said.

Urging the people to continue praying for his father’s speedy recovery, Mukhriz said his father is being given adequate attention by specialists with the help of the state-of-the-art medical apparatus at IJN.

On Hari Raya Aidilfitri celebrations, he said, his family discouraged visitors to visit his father until he has fully recovered and has returned home.

“They are welcome when we host a thanksgiving feast later,” he said.

Mukhriz said his mother, Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali, who has been with Dr Mahathir since Sept 2, only left IJN once to break fast at the residence of his elder brother, Datuk Mokhzani Mahathir, and to meet family members and grandchildren.

Asked on Dr Mahathir’s health condition, Mukhriz said: “We are very happy with his progress.”

He said doctors are focusing attention on rebuilding Dr Mahathir’s body strength.

“At this moment, they are not too picky about what he eats every day. He needs at least 2,000 calories a day.

“For this moment they will allow it. After two months, they will start looking into his diet,” he said.

Currently, Dr Mahathir is on mixed diet like porridge, bread, ice-cream, jelly, eggs and nutritional drinks, he added.



Last Friday night, another of these “bad news” rumours surfaced. It was so severe that Riong Kali instructed a delegation of senior NST journalists bound for Sweden on Saturday for a study tour, led by the CEO and Group Editor in Chief, to stand down and cancel the trip, in anticipation of “something bad happening”. Some senior journalists even rushed to IJN to catch the latest developments.

Dato’ Paduka Marina Mahathir, Tun Dr. Mahathir’s eldest child, blogs about her father’s progress regularly and despite the fact that even the mainstream media have been updating their stories on the development of his health based on her postings, the rumours still persist, till this afternoon.

Looks like rumour mongering is very much a trait of Malaysian lifestyle, even in this age of efficient communications, information age and dissemination.

Published in: on October 3, 2007 at 01:50  Comments (4)