PUTRAJAYA: Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad celebrated his 94th birthday by doing what he does best and loves most – work.
It was meetings and engagements for Malaysia’s favourite nonagenarian from the get-go. He even fitted in the Prime Minister’s Question Time at Parliament.
The country’s chief executive started the day by chairing an important meeting, which saw Cabinet Ministers and Opposition leaders sit around the same table to discuss automatic voter registration and eligibility for 18-year-olds to become election candidates as the government courted bipartisan support in its quest to lower the voting age.
Dr Mahathir then proceeded to the Dewan Rakyat to answer questions on plans to revive Malaysia Airlines Bhd.
After that, it was back to his office here where staff of the Prime Minister’s Office surprised their boss with cakes, pulut kuning and birthday wishes.
Also at the office was his wife Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali, who waited to have lunch with the birthday boy. After a quick meal, it was back to work for the busy man.
A private dinner attended by family and close friends was held in his honour last night.
The Prime Minister took to Facebook to thank his well-wishers, adding that he only had one wish for his birthday – to see Malaysia on the road to recovery.
“My birthday wish is very simple – that I can finish my work setting Malaysia on the road to recovery.
“It is a privilege and honour to serve this country,” he wrote.
Malaysians from all walks of life showered the two-time Prime Minister with greetings, prayers and wishes on various social media
platforms. On Twitter, three hashtags, namely #TunM94, #Happy94th and #PrimeMinister, took centrestage.
Even his political nemesis Datuk Seri Najib Razak sent him a birthday greeting.
“Happy Birthday to Tun Mahathir. May Allah grant you good health,” the former prime minister posted on Facebook.
Dr Mahathir’s daughter Datin Paduka Marina Mahathir posted a heart-warming birthday message to her father, describing him as the most loving great-grandfather, grandfather and husband and a “quirky, funny guy” although most people think that he is “stern and strict”.
“Wishing you the best of health and all the energy to do what you love most, especially for our beloved country,” she wrote on Facebook.
Marina also reminded her father to take time to rest with the family, take it slow on his birthday and
“eat some cake”.
Dr Mahathir’s son, Kedah Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mukhriz, said: “Wishing a happy 94th birthday to my father. May you have a long life, healthy body, sharp mind and continue to lead the country that the rakyat dream of seeing.”
His Pakatan Harapan compatriots and Cabinet colleagues released an endearing video wishing him a happy birthday and thanking him for his guidance.
Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail sent her wishes all the way from Beijing, where she is on an official visit.
“I also pray for you to be given good health so that you can continue to serve the country and the people,” she said.
Her husband, PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, also prayed for Dr Mahathir’s good health.
“I also hope you will continue to be given the opportunity to serve this nation,” he said.
Home Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said: “Happy Birthday, sir! May you continue to lead us to realise the people’s aspirations for a Malaysia that is prosperous and peaceful.”
Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Azmin Ali, in an Instagram posting, thanked Dr Mahathir for his service and love of the country.
He also prayed for the Prime Minister’s good health to witness the implementation of the vision of shared prosperity.
Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng wished for the Prime Minister to remain in good health, while Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu hoped Dr Mahathir would continue to lead the Cabinet team so that the best service could be rendered to the people.
Social media was filled with Malaysians sharing photos of Dr Mahathir, including selfies they managed to take with him.
“We are grateful for you and your leadership. May the abundance of great health, love and happiness be with you. You are our biggest blessing,” Twitter user Zura wrote.
Fellow netizen Yeang said Dr Mahathir made Malaysia proud every day.
“Your leadership and passion to change the nation will never be replaced and forgotten,” wrote user Irfan_Newboys.