More Malaysians expected to live longer, says Dr M

by BERNAMA / pic by TMR FILE

PUTRAJAYA – While many have been inquiring with nanogerian Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad (picture) on the secret to his longevity, the former prime minister says more Malaysians will live longer and contribute towards an ageing society in the near future.   

As at 2020, more than 7 percent of Malaysia’s population were aged 65 and above and by 2030 it is projected that 15 per cent of the Malaysian population will be 60 and above.

Dr Mahathir, 95, said the contributing factor for this scenario is that Malaysians were living beyond the average life span, added with a relatively healthy population and a decent healthcare system compared with many of the developing countries.

“I infact gave my myself up to only 75 years…I thought by then I would be dead but don’t know how I survived,” said the Langkawi Member of Parliament (MP) in jest who survived two open heart surgeries.         

Dr Mahathir said this to Bernama on Tuesday during a 30-minute meet-up session with the current Miss Earth Malaysia 2020/21 Dr Nisha Thayananthan at his office in Putrajaya on Tuesday.

Sharing on his longevity, Dr Mahathir said he has been fortunate in not suffering from the non-communicable diseases (NCDs) that shorten one’s life.

An important tip from Dr Mahathir for those who want to live long is that  ‘one should eat to survive and not survive in order to eat’.

  “I have maintained the same weight for the past 30 or 40 years, it doesn’t change. I don’t eat very much, and I don’t overeat even when food tastes nice,” he said, adding he keeps active by treadmill walking and at times cycling.

Meanwhile, Dr Mahathir applauded Dr Nisha’s initiative in coming up with her own brand of biodegradable sanitary pads.

He says it is a good effort in preventing waste piling up in the environment, taking into account the rising population in 30 years time.

He also congratulated Dr Nisha who will be taking part in the Miss Earth beauty pageant at the end of this year in Manila, the Philippines.

As for Dr Nisha and her twin sister Nalini, a police inspector based in Penang, meeting Dr Mahathir in person is a dream come true. Both sisters were elated seeing Dr Mahathir in person.

“It is not everyday you have the opportunity to meet a former doctor who has led our country as the 4th and 7th prime minister and was also known as world’s oldest prime minister,” said Dr Nisha who adored Dr Mahathir from very young.        

Born on July 10, 1925, Dr Mahathir is the only politician in the country who has held the country’s top executive post twice and also holds the record as the world’s oldest prime minister when he was re-elected in May 2018.