Malaysia ex-PM Mahathir undergoes minor surgery

KUALA LUMPUR - Former Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamad underwent "minor surgery" in hospital on Tuesday, his aide said.

The 86-year-old long-time leader was admitted to a hospital in the capital Kuala Lumpur early Tuesday for the hour-long surgery to remove nasal polyps, his aide Sufi Yusoff said in a statement.

Mahathir, who was recovering from the surgery and "under observation in the normal ward", was expected to remain in hospital for a few days, he said.

Mahathir stepped down as prime minister in 2003 after 22 years in power and remains an influential figure. He often speaks out on politics and other current issues.

In May last year, he was hospitalised at the National Heart Institute for treatment of a chest infection. In October 2010, a similar chest infection saw him hospitalised in Melbourne.

He has undergone two coronary bypass operations, one in 1989 and the latest in 2007.

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