Former Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, 82, is suffering from dementia, according to his son-in-law and Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin.
Khairy told the public at a conference on the management of dementia and schizophrenia that Abdullah, informally known as "Pak Lah", no longer recognises nor remembers the names of his family members.
This is the first time Khairy has shared about the health condition of his father-in-law.
Abdullah is wheelchair-bound
In his remarks, Khairy began with a quip, "many of you may wonder where the fifth Prime Minister of Malaysia is? He of course retired gracefully, didn't cause problems for his successor."
"He has dementia and that is why you have not seen him. Dementia is a very very cruel condition. The body is there but the mind is not", Khairy said.
“He does not remember my name, my wife's name. The only reason I know that he recognises me is the flicker in his eye when I visit him," he added.
Khairy also revealed that Abdullah is "wheelchair-bound" and "there are more bad days than good".
"Been challenging" to see Pak Lah's deterioration
Pak Lah suffers from dementia.— Khairy Jamaluddin 🇲🇾🌺 (@Khairykj) September 11, 2022
It has been challenging for us to see the deterioration in his cognitive function. Some people are aware but many are not. The family has decided to openly share this partly to shine a light on dementia & cognitive impairment. https://t.co/BHav9buseb
Khairy also shared similar details on his Twitter account, saying that it has been challenging for him and his family members to see the deterioration in Abdullah's cognitive function.
He explained that this is the reason why Abdullah, who served as Malaysia's fifth premier from 2003 to 2009, is no longer seen in public.
Khairy was at the launch of the Malaysian conference of psychological medicine and clinical practice guidelines on management of dementia and schizophrenia.
Top image from Khairy Jamaluddin's Facebook page