Monday, September 24, 2007

Mahathir responsive after second surgery: family

Former Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamad is sedated but responsive two days after undergoing surgery for a chest infection following a recent heart bypass, his daughter said Monday.
"He's still very much sedated because he needs to rest... But he does wake up from time to time and he can hear us and respond to what we say," Marina Mahathir said in her blog.
"I told him I was there and he did a typical Dad thing: he winked. I wanted to both laugh and cry."
Mahathir, 82, underwent three-hour surgery late Saturday to remove infected tissue from his chest. He had the heart bypass operation on September 4. He previously had bypass surgery in 1989.
Doctors at the National Heart Institute said the infection was the cause of Mahathir's slow recovery and persistent weakness after the September operation, Marina added.
"Right now they are pleased with how he's doing but they are being super-cautious because it is a day-to-day thing. We are optimistic but we also don't want to celebrate too early," she said.
Mahathir resigned in 2003 after 22 years in power, handing the reins over to the current prime minister, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.
Despite retiring from office, Mahathir remains a hugely influential figure and has become an outspoken critic of his successor, accusing him of economic mismanagement, nepotism and corruption.