THE Prime Minister’s personal ride in Langkawi is a brown Volkswagen Tiguan and most of the islanders know that already because they often see him driving around in it.
“He loves to drive but he can’t do much of that anymore because now that he is Prime Minister again, he has rules from his security to follow,” said a personal friend of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
Despite the rules, the premier had one chance to get behind the wheel when he returned to Langkawi for a day last week.
After a meeting at Ombak Villa, the resort he was staying, he declined to be driven and got into the driver’s seat to drive himself back to his chalet — a 200m journey.
“Driving relaxes him. But he doesn’t get to do that much anymore, nowadays,” his friend revealed.
Though he used to visit Langkawi every month, Dr Mahathir returned last Friday for the first time as Prime Minister anew, much to the delight of thousands of locals.
They gathered at the Al-Hana mosque in Kuah to break fast with him.
Wearing a white baju Melayu, he was accompanied by his wife Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali and their son, Kedah Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir.
They spent about three hours to break fast and performed two prayer sessions at the mosque with the people.
As a symbolic gesture to honour his visit, the mosque presented Dr Mahathir with a slab of yellow glutinous rice.
Even non-Muslim guests were at the mosque compound, hoping to catch a glimpse of the 93-year-old leader.
In his speech, Dr Mahathir, who is also Langkawi MP, thanked the people for their support and urged them to uphold peace and harmony despite political differences.
“During the election, we campaigned and people might have been divided politically, but it is now time for us to be together and move forward.
“We should be grateful to be in a peaceful country and we will strive hard to implement Pakatan Harapan's 10 promises within 100 days,” he said.
Dr Mahathir said the period, however, might take a little longer on account of the “damage” done to the country by the past governance.
He then presented Raya aid to over 700 recipients with the help of Dr Siti Hasmah, Mukhriz, Ayer Hangat assemblyman Juhari Bulat and Kuah assemblyman Mohd Firdaus Ahmad.
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