KUALA LUMPUR, June 9 ― Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said in jest that nonagenarians should refrain from driving, since they usually are no longer physically capable to do so.
In a video on road safety by the Road Safety Department ahead of Aidilfitri, Dr Mahathir and Transport Minister Anthony Loke Siew Fook had also given some advice for motorists when returning home, or “balik kampung”, including to rest when they are tired.
“Yes, some people when you’ve reached my age, you lack energy,” he replied, when asked whether the elderly should drive.
“Usually, 90-year-olds shouldn’t drive lah,” the 92-year-old Langkawi MP said, grinning. Loke, who was sitting beside him also cracked a smile.
“I enjoy driving, but I can only drive during weekend. Even then, there is a driver at the side,” he said, relating how the driver would get cautious everytime he drives.
Dr Mahathir is a known car enthusiast and is often eager to climb behind the steering wheels of vehicles during launches and demonstrations.
Last month, blogger Firdaus Abdullah posted a video of the prime minister, who is known to drive himself around Putrajaya, behind the wheel of what appeared to be a Proton Perdana.
Perdana Menteri Malaysia YAB Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad @chedetofficial memandu sendiri memantau perkembangan terkini disekitar Kuala Lumpur pagi tadi. Ada yang bertanya dimana Dr Mahathir mendapat tenaga melimpah ruah pada umur 93 tahun? Semoga Tuhan terus memelihara negarawan 🇲🇾 pic.twitter.com/57l3B5YlKt— Firdaus Abdullah (@firdyfire) May 20, 2018
Dr Mahathir also chided those who asked for discounts on traffic summons over the holiday period.
“If we were summoned, then we pay. It is a pressure for us to always remember that when we do something wrong while driving, we have to pay summons.
“But if you can discount summons, then I think it won’t be a warning,” he said, while Loke insisted that Putrajaya is not deliberately trying to make life hard with the summons.
When asked about advice when one gets tired while driving, Loke said he enjoyed listening to music to pick up the mood.
But Dr Mahathir had a much simpler advice: “Go to the roadside, stop, and sleep.”
On Thursday, Loke had announced that the short video, which was part of the Road Safety Department campaign, would be aired on television and social media next week.
Loke said he also would appear in a short video on cautious driving.