5-speed listening (Oldest Leader - Level 6)

Malaysia to have 92-year-old leader



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Malaysia's former leader Mahathir Mohamad has staged a remarkable political comeback to end the six-decade rule of the Barisan Nasional (BN) party. It is still unclear when Mr Mahathir, 92, will be sworn in as Malaysia's next prime minister. When he assumes power, he will be the world's oldest elected leader. Mahathir was Malaysia's prime minister from 1981 to 2003. At that time, he was leader of the BN party, which came to power in 1957 after Malaysia gained independence from British colonial rule. He was instrumental in his country's economic success and in making Malaysia an "Asian tiger". He was also accused of being an authoritarian leader who used security laws to imprison his opponents.

Official polling results show Mahathir's Pakatan Harapan party has won 113 seats. This is sufficient to form a simple majority in the country's 222-seat parliament. Mahathir came out of retirement and joined the opposition party. In an often bitterly-contested election race, he defeated his former protégé Najib Razak. Mr Najib had been beset by allegations of corruption and a multi-billion-dollar financial scandal. Mahathir told reporters that he wanted to put Malaysia back on the right track. He said: "What we want to do is to restore the rule of law." When reporters asked about his advancing years, he joked about age. He said his new cabinet would be, "a gathering of men and women, including a young person".

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