Dr Mahathir may not attend Umno assembly due to poor health

KUALA LUMPUR - Ill-health may prevent Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad from attending the opening of the Umno general assembly on Thursday.

The 89-year-old former Umno president has been under the weather lately and is said to be suffering from a coughing bout.

Last week, Dr Mahathir cancelled three engagements as he was unwell. He was supposed to give a talk at the International New York Times Energy for Tomorrow conference, attend the annual general meeting of Angkatan Koperasi Kebangsaan and a national unity convention organised by Perkasa.

The former prime minister has also cancelled a number of appointments this week.

They include attendance at a conference in Abu Dhabi as well as three other engagements in London.

However, Dr Mahathir did turn up at the Formula E electric car race in Putrajaya on Saturday, an event that was also attended by Prime Minister and current Umno president Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

Since his retirement in 2003, Dr Mahathir's presence at the Umno assembly has been closely watched by observers as the former leader still wields influence among many party members who respect and admire him.