Ex-Malaysia PM Mahathir Mohamad has not died

Mahathir was pictured meeting a dignitary on 3 June 2022.

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Claim: Former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has died. 

Fact: The rumours that Mahathir has died are not true. He was pictured meeting a dignitary on 3 June 2022 and also attended a conference in Japan on 27 May 2022. 

Fact or Fiction?

On 31 May 2022, Facebook page News Alert Pakistan shared a photo of former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad with a caption stating that he had died. The caption reads,

‏انا للہ وانا الیہ راجعون مسلم اُمّہ ایک نڈر لیڈر سے محروم ہوگئی اللہ پاک مہاتیر محمد کو جنت میں اعلی مقام عطا فرمائے آمین ثما آمین

[We surely belong to Allah and to Him we shall return. The Muslim Ummah has lost a fearless leader. May Allah Almighty grant Mahatir Mohamad a high rank in paradise. Amen].”

The claim was also picked up by other pages including here, here, here, here, here, here and here, among others. 

Soch Fact Check found the claim to be false as Mahathir’s official Facebook page shared a post on 3 June 2022 about his meeting with Ricardo Estanislao Morote Canales, Ambassador of the Republic of Peru to Malaysia. The two dignitaries can be seen shaking hands and conversing in the photos. 

The former leader was also pictured attending the International Conference on “The Future of Asia” in Tokyo, Japan on 27 May 2022.

Soch Fact Check could not find any reports on Mahathir’s alleged death in the mainstream media which further confirms that the claims doing the rounds on social media are baseless. 

Rumours of Mahathir’s death surfaced earlier in January 2022 as well, after the 96-year-old was admitted to a specialist heart hospital for the third time in a matter of weeks. The veteran politician has had numerous heart problems over the years. 

Virality:

According to a CrowdTangle analysis conducted by Soch Fact Check, the search term, “مسلم اُمّہ لیڈر مہاتیر محمد  [Muslim ummah’s leader Mahathir Mohamad]”, turned up 68 posts on Facebook which received 10,673 interactions over the 30-day period leading up to 7 June 2022. 

The claim became fairly popular and was shared by multiple Facebook pages and groups, many of which carried it with the same or very similar captions:

  • ‏انا للہ وانا الیہ راجعون مسلم اُمّہ ایک نڈر لیڈر سے محروم ہوگئی اللہ پاک مہاتیر محمد کو جنت میں اعلی مقام عطا فرمائے آمین ثما آمین 

[We surely belong to Allah and to Him we shall return. The Muslim Ummah is deprived of a fearless leader. May Allah Almighty grant Mahathir Mohamad a high rank in paradise. Amen]

  • ‏انا للہ وانا الیہ راجعون  مسلم اُمّہ کے ایک نڈر لیڈر مہاتیر محمد انتقال کر گئے اللہ پاک مہاتیر محمد کو جنت میں اعلیٰ مقام عطا فرمائے۔ آمین ثم آمین

[We surely belong to Allah and to Him we shall return. Muslim Ummah’s fearless leader has died. May Allah Almighty grant Mahathir Mohamad a high rank in paradise. Amen]

  • ‏انا للہ وانا الیہ راجعون مسلم اُمّہ کے نڈر لیڈر اور ملاٸیشیا کے وزیر اعظم مہاتیر محمد اپنے خالق حقیقی سے جا ملے۔ اللہ پاک مہاتیر محمد کو جنت میں اعلی مقام عطا فرمائے آمین ثم آمین

[We surely belong to Allah and to Him we shall return. Muslim Ummah’s fearless leader and Malaysia’s (ex) Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has met his creator. May Allah Almighty grant Mahathir Mohamad a high rank in paradise. Amen]

The analysis revealed that News Alert Pakistan’s post is performing over 16 times better than other similar posts, with 2,700 likes and 471 shares. Meanwhile,  Azeem Rajput’s post has received 760 likes and 347 shares and Haqeeqat Times’s post has received 756 likes and 125 shares. 

The claim was also shared in multiple groups; here, here, here, here, here here and here, among others. 

Conclusion: Former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has not died. In fact, he was pictured meeting a dignitary on 3 June 2022, three days after rumours about his death surfaced on social media. 

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