Malaysia’s veteran politician Mahathir loses seat in first election defeat in 53 years – World

Mahathir Mohamad, the 97-year-old elder statesman of Malaysian politics, lost his parliamentary seat in Saturday’s polls, likely ending the career of one of Asia’s most enduring politicians.

Mahathir came in fourth in a five-way fight in his long-held constituency in the holiday resort island of Langkawi, the country’s election commission said.

It was his first electoral defeat in more than half a century.

Mahathir held the Guinness World Record for being the “world’s oldest current prime minister” when he became premier for a second time in 2018 just two months shy of his 93rd birthday.

Visibly slowed by age but still looking healthy, he ran this time around under his own Homeland Fighters’ Party and had laughed off suggestions he should retire, telling reporters before the election he had a “good chance” of winning.

“I’m still standing around and talking to you, I think, making reasonable answers,” Mahathir said.

He added his party would not form any alliances with parties that are led by “crooks or jailbirds” — an apparent reference to the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), the party of jailed former prime minister Najib Razak.

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