May 14, 2018

Is 92 the new 72? Mahathir Mohamad takes office aged 92

The election of Mahathir Mohamad last week to the position of prime minister in Malaysia makes us rethink what it is to grow older.

Many of us may imagine that as we enter our 90s, we will be winding down and entering a slower phase of our life.

But there is a growing number of high-profile leaders that are maintaining, and even taking on, leadership roles as they approach 100 – making us rethink our assumptions about old age, and what we can expect to achieve as we grow older.

The Queen is 91 years old, and still performing an impressive range of duties. Beji Caid Essebsi, Tunisia’s president, is 91.

Dr Mahathir became the prime minister of Malaysia at the age of 92, making him the oldest head of government in the world, but he is perfectly able to keep up with other world leaders.

By comparison Xi jing Ping is only 64, and Donald Trump is 71.

These leaders are role models, who reveal that age doesn’t have to be a barrier to living a successful, happy, and full life.

Of course, good health and some luck are involved in living a long and healthy life.

Dr Mahathir, who was already Malaysia’s longest serving prime minister, holding the office between 1981 and 2003, has retained his terrific wit, and is mentally as sharp as ever. He told Singapore’s Straits Times, that he attributes his longevity to not eating too much, and some say other world leaders would be well advised to follow his regime.

“Never overeat,” he said. “Once you become fat, it’s very difficult to become thin again.”

Trained as a doctor, Dr Mahathir said this advice came from his mother, but he also said his theory has a medical foundation.

Dr Mahathir, who has had two heart bypasses, said he has not tried stem cell treatments, despite rumours to the contrary.

Dr Mahathir said a love of reading and learning, developed in childhood, has helped him stay mentally sharp.

Dr Mahathir’s wife, Siti Hasmah Mohamad Ali, is also in extremely good health, and living an extremely full life at the age of 91. No doubt resuming her role as the wife of the prime minister will keep her busy, but she also plays the violin, and was the chancellor of the Multimedia University of Malaysia.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Banner Banner
Banner Banner

The benefits of making a ‘When I die file’

A new book aims to dispel the idea we have no control over what happens to us at the end of our lives. Read More

Understanding Advance Care Planning

Australia’s population is ageing. Well-coordinated and appropriate health care is a key priority. It’s becoming increasingly important for the health care sector to better understand advance care planning, which supports person-centred care, aligned with an individual’s values, goals and preferences. Advance Care Planning Australia is partnering with recognised advance care planning leaders across Australia to... Read More

The “Lucky” Son: My Parents’ Journey to Aged Care

I am a very lucky person – I am nearing 60 and still have both of my parents alive and in reasonably good health.  Mum is 87 and Dad 88 this year.  Looking back through my family history I’m fairly sure none of my ancestors have been this lucky.  In fact all of them had lost at least... Read More
Banner Banner