Former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has been readmitted to a hospital and is being treated at an intensive care unit, but he is in stable condition, his daughter said Saturday.

The 96-year-old two-time prime minister, who had been discharged last week following surgery, was admitted to the National Heart Institute in Kuala Lumpur on Thursday, Marina Mahathir said.

Former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad. (Kyodo)

"His condition is stable and he is responding well to treatment," she said in a statement.

Earlier, Mahathir's spokesman confirmed in a text message that he was being treated at the coronary care unit of the hospital.

Hordes of media personnel have descended on the hospital as speculation swirled about Mahathir's health status.

Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob was among those who visited the elder statesman. He tweeted a photo of his meeting with Mahathir's wife and son.

This is the third time Mahathir has been hospitalized since December, when he spent a week at the hospital for a series of medical checks. He was discharged on Dec. 23.

He then was admitted to the same hospital on Jan. 7 and underwent an "elective medical procedure" the next day before being discharged on Jan. 13.

Mahathir was last seen in public on Dec. 12 when his latest memoir was published.

Mahathir has had many health scares in the past. He had his first heart bypass in 1989, and a second one in 2007.

After serving as prime minister for 22 years, Mahathir stepped down in 2003. He became prime minister for the second time at age 92 in 2018 after joining forces with the opposition and stunningly dethroning the long-ruling National Front coalition in a general election.

But his tenure lasted less than two years as his government collapsed due to political defections.

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