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10 Dec, 2019 17:32

‘Listen to old people & hold onto your idealism’: World’s oldest PM sends advice to youngest

‘Listen to old people & hold onto your idealism’: World’s oldest PM sends advice to youngest

Malaysian leader Mahathir Mohamad, the world’s oldest prime minister, has offered the world’s youngest, Finland’s Sanna Marin, some words of wisdom as she takes on her new role: Ask “old people” for their advice.

Marin, 34, was fast-tracked to the position of PM after Antti Rinne, 57, stepped down when the five-party coalition government lost confidence in the Social Democrat leader. Rinne had lost considerable public support over his handling of a major strike at Finland’s public-owned postal service in November.

Now, 94-year-old Mahathir is imparting some guidance as Marin prepares to take the reins, with Finland facing a fresh wave of industrial strikes.

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“While we believe in the idealism of young people, it is important also for them to consider the experience of the old people,” he told Reuters. 

If Marin listens to older people and also maintains her youthful idealism, “then there will be a combination of the two, and that would be good,” he added.

Marin swiftly rose through the ranks of Finnish politics, becoming head of the city council of Tampere at just 27. She was elected to the Finnish parliament in 2015 and has been transport and communications minister since June.

Mahathir, meanwhile, began his second stint as Malaysia’s PM after leading the opposition to a historic victory last May. He had previously served as PM for 22 years between 1981 and 2003.

He is currently facing sexual assault allegations, which he has denied and described as “politics at its worst.”

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