Indeed, Dr Mahathir had hit the ground running ever since he was sworn in as Malaysia’s seventh prime minister in May, shouldering the heavy responsibility of helming the country with much vigour that belied his more than nine decades of existence.
Many were keen to know what kept him going so much so that a photograph of him having a meal with a particular multivitamin product on the table drew much attention with reports that, that particular brand was soon out of stock at pharmacies.
And Dr Mahathir was ever willing to share what made him tick, stressing the importance of keeping an active lifestyle even after retirement age.
“I would prefer to rest, of course, but I would like to advise people not to rest when they grow old,” he said when queried during a recent trip to Tokyo on how he remained healthy.
Dr Mahathir, who has the distinction of being the oldest prime minister in the world, explained that muscles would deteriorate if they were not used.
“If you lie down all the time, the muscles (eventually) cannot even carry your weight, you cannot stand, you cannot walk. So it’s not good when you are old (that) you just lie down and do nothing,” he said, pointing out that it was the same with one’s brain.
“If you don’t use your brain, you don’t think, you don’t solve problems, you don’t read, you don’t write, the brain regresses and you become senile…so always be active,” said Dr Mahathir who was born on July 10, 1925.
In an interview with a local English newspaper, Dr Mahathir underlined the importance of not to overeat – an advice he got from from his late mother.
“My mother told me that when the food is nice, stop,” he said, admitting that it would be difficult at first but it was easy after some time.