KUALA LUMPUR (Oct 14): At 97, Malaysia's former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad appears to be nowhere near retirement.
Mahathir, who was the country's prime minister twice, said in a Facebook post on Thursday (Oct 13) longevity offers him a chance to continue his struggle for religion, race and the nation.
The incumbent Member of Parliament for Langkawi said: "I realise there are [people] who ask why I need to contest [Malaysia's upcoming] general election.
"Firstly, I am still alive by God's grace. There is no better struggle than the struggle for religion, race and country," said Mahathir, who announced on Tuesday (Oct 11) he would be contesting the Langkawi constituency during the upcoming general election.
"As a leader, I cannot just sit down and order and ask others to do something without me doing the same," said Mahathir, who was Malaysia's prime minister from July 1981 to October 2003 before becoming prime minister again from May 2018 to March 2020.
Mahathir said he believes his struggle is an act of worship (ibadah) and that there is no retirement from such struggle.
"This [ibadah] includes continuing the struggle. As long as I am alive, I will continue this struggle and this struggle is not over yet," he said.
On Monday (Oct 10), Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced the dissolution of Parliament following consent from Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri'ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah to make way for the nation's 15th general election (GE15).
According to Malaysian law, the country's GE15 must be held within 60 days from the Parliament's dissolution date, which means GE15 must be held by December 2022.
The GE14 was held on May 9, 2018.
Prior to the Parliament's dissolution, which was earlier than expected, the country's GE15 was not due until September 2023.