"I salute you. You saved the country," Tycoon Robert Kuok tells Dr M

KUALA LUMPUR, May 23 (Bernama) -- Tycoon Robert Kuok has praised Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad for "saving the country".

"I salute you. You saved the country," the Hong Kong-based Malaysian business magnate said when he called on Dr Mahathir at his office in Putrajaya today.

With a gentle tap on Kuok's shoulder, Dr Mahathir replied with a sheepish smile: "We need your help now."

A video clip as well as several pictures of the encounter were posted on the prime minister's Twitter and Facebook accounts.

Kuok is one of the members of the Council of Eminent Persons (CEP) appointed by Dr Mahathir on May 12, when he announced its formation.

Kuok, 94, attended his first CEP meeting yesterday. Its task is to advise the government on economic and financial matters.

In his remarks following the meeting, he called on Malaysians to put their trust in the CEP which also comprises former finance minister Tun Daim Zainuddin, former Bank Negara governor Tan Sri Zeti Akhtar Aziz, former Petronas president and chief executive officer Tan Sri Hassan Marican and economist Prof Jomo Kwame Sundaram.

Dr Mahathir returned to helm the government after he was sworn in as Malaysia's seventh prime minister following Pakatan Harapan's victory in the May 9 general election, making him the oldest prime minister in the world. He is Pakatan Harapan chairman.

He was also Malaysia's fourth prime minister, from 1981 to 2003.