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Malaysia's ex-PM Mahathir on road to recovery in hospital

Former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad is recovering after being hospitalized for the third time since December and is eager to get back on his feet, his daughter said Wednesday.

The 96-year-old two-time former premier, once the world’s oldest leader, was admitted to the coronary care unit at the National Heart Institute on Jan. 20. He underwent an elective medical procedure at the same hospital on Jan. 7. Last month, he was admitted for a full medical checkup and observation.

Marina Mahathir said in a statement that her father “is cheerful and eager to fully recover.'" He was transferred out of the coronary care unit earlier Tuesday to a normal ward, but isn't allowed to receive visitors apart from family members, she said.

Mahathir has had two coronary bypass surgeries but was still robust and sharp witted. He led the opposition to a historic election victory in 2018 that ousted a corruption-tainted government in the first peaceful transfer of power since Malaysia’s independence in 1957.

Mahathir became the world’s oldest leader at 92 for a second stint but that triumph lasted only 22 months as his government collapsed due to infighting. That didn’t stop him, and Mahathir formed a new ethnic Malay party in 2020 to oppose the new leadership.