Source AP ©

Health concerns about the 67-year-old Malaysia's prime minister raise

Malaysia's prime minister felt weak and appeared to totter during a public function and had to be held up by officials, raising health concerns about the 67-year-old leader.

Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi later dismissed rumors that he had fainted while attending the outdoor function in the northern state of Perak, and attributed the incident to heat and lack of sleep.

The incident set the rumor mill abuzz in Malaysia with rumors of Abdullah fainting mentioned on some local blogs.

Abdullah told reporters that at no time did he faint, the state news agency Bernama reported.

"I am well. Don't worry ... I take care of my health," Abdullah was quoted as saying.

Abdullah said he underwent several tests, including of his blood pressure and heart, which were normal. He said the heat and a lack of sleep caused him to be unsteady, Bernama said.

His personal physician, Dr. Sanjiv Joshi, told the news agency that heat exhaustion could have hit anyone as it was reportedly 44 degrees Celsius (111 F) at the time of the incident. Abdullah had been delivering a speech outside in a public square.

"I'm relieved now (after the doctor's examination). At first I was worried too. I thank the Almighty that I'm all right," Abdullah was quoted as saying.

He recalled that after giving a speech, he felt "terribly weak and tired," Bernama said.

Joshi said "his health condition is found to be good and there's nothing to worry about."

Bernama said Abdullah appeared to be losing balance and almost collapsed but was held by Perak's chief minister, Tajol Rosli Ghazali, and another senior government official, Ahmad Zainuddin Raja Omar.

But Abdullah said he sat down when he felt unwell and continued with the program.

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