Filipinos Are Praising Tun M For Not Missing Any ASEAN Summit Meetings

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte missed four of the 11 meetings he was supposed to attend at the recent ASEAN summit in Singapore.

  • Cover image via RMN

At the recent ASEAN Summit in Singapore, Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad impressed many by keeping up with a hectic diplomatic schedule

As the world's oldest leader, Malay Mail reported that 93-year-old Mahathir had a no-nonsense approach to some countries at the summit, telling them off that although trade expansion was crucial, smaller economies should not be forced to sign any lopsided deals. 

He then went on to slam Myanmar's Aung San Suu Kyi for "defending the indefensible" regarding the Rohingya persecution. The Prime Minister also expressed disappointment in Suu Kyi because "someone who has been detained before should know the suffering".

Mahathir at the ASEAN Summit on 14 November.

Image via Malay Mail

When asked about how he kept up with the chaotic schedule of the summit, Mahathir responded with his classic wit

"I don't know how I manage," Mahathir was quoted as saying by Free Malaysia Today at the end of the summit. 

"I always attend meetings. It's my duty. If I can, I will. If I'm sick, I won't," he added.

At the summit, the 93-year-old Prime Minister stood in contrast to 73-year-old Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, who missed four out of the 11 meetings he was supposed to attend

Duterte had also missed a gala dinner hosted by Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. His presidential spokesman, Salvador S. Panelo defended his absence at the meeetings. 

"He (Duterte) took power naps to catch (up) on sleep," Salvador said, before accusing people of "making a big fuss of the president skipping a few meetings". 

President Rodrigo Duterte

Image via CNN Philippines

Meanwhile, Duterte did not think there was anything wrong with taking his 'power naps' and skipping meetings at the summit. 

"What's wrong with my nap?" the 73-year-old was quoted as saying by Free Malaysia Today. 

"Not good enough, but enough to sustain the endurance for the last days," Duterte added, when asked if he felt fully rested.

73-year-old Duterte has previously admitted that he suffers from daily migraines and ailments including Buerger's disease

Buerger's disease is an illness that affects the veins and the arteries of the limbs, and it is usually caused by smoking. 

The Philippine President has been skipping events since he took power in 2016.

Mahathir's presence at the summit has since attracted praise from Filipinos themselves

Image via Twitter

Meanwhile, one netizen criticised Duterte instead for skipping the meetings.

Image via Twitter

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