Home International Former Malaysian PM Mahathir visits ailing Suharto in Jakarta

Former Malaysian PM Mahathir visits ailing Suharto in Jakarta

By NNN-Bernama

Jakarta : Former Malaysian prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad Monday visited former Indonesian president Suharto, who is in critical condition after being admitted to the Pertamina Central Hospital here early this month.

Mahathir, who was accompanied by his wife, Dr Siti Hasmah Mohamed Ali, arrived from Kuala Lumpur in a special aircraft and immediately proceeded to the hospital after touching down at the Halim Perdana Kusumah Airport here.

Dr Mahathir had flown to Jakarta specially to visit his old friend and was expected to return to Kuala Lumpur in the afternoon.

Suharto, who was Indonesia’s second president, ruling for 32 years from 1966 to 1998, is fondly known as Pak Harto to Indonesians who credit him with being responsible for bringing stability and progress to Indonesia following the outster of founding fatehr Sukarno (eds: one name correct).

Together with Dr Mahathir and former Singapore Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew, who visited Suharto on Sunday, Suharto had played a vital role in the formation of the Association of South East Asian Nations (Asean).

Dr Mahathir spent about 25 minutes at the hospital but declined to comment when approached by foreign and local media representatives as soon as he came down to get into his car.

There had been wide coverage about Dr Mahathir’s visit as soon as it was reported that he would pay a visit to the former president.

Meanwhile, presidential spokesman Dino Patti Djalal said Dr Mahathir’s trip was purely to visit Pak Harto, which proved the close relationship between the two neighbouring countries.