AT 93, Malaysia’s Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad is the oldest premier in the world and now he looks set to break another record to become the first Asean leader to address the prestigious Oxford Union.
Dr Mahathir’s address on Friday would put him in a list which includes illustrious leaders such as Winston Churchill and Margaret Thatcher, Free Malaysia Today reported.
In a tweet, Malaysia’s Youth and Sports minister congratulated the prime minister on the invitation to the renowned debating society where membership is mainly drawn from the University of Oxford.
“After months of planning, (Dr) Mahathir will finally make his appearance at the Oxford Union,” he Syeed Saadiq said.
The minister added that apart from being the first Malaysian to make the address, Dr Mahathir is the first democratically-elected leader from Asean to be invited to speak at Oxford Union.
In May last year, Dr Mahathir and his Pakatan Harapan (Alliance of Hope) political pact unseated the long-ruling Barisan Nasional coalition which has been in power for 60 years in a historic election.
With a tradition of holding debates and speakers dating back to 1823, the Oxford Union is heralded as one of the most prestigious debating organisations in the world.
According to the FMT, former British prime minister Harold Macmillan called it “the last bastion of free speech in the Western world”.
The union also boasts being “the principal forum for national and international debate”.