Former Malaysia PM Mahathir's condition improving, to remain in hospital

Malaysia's former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad reacts during an interview with Reuters in Kuala Lumpur

(Fixes headline to remove extraneous s in "remain")

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - Malaysia's former leader Mahathir Mohamad, who served as prime minister for more than two decades, is showing signs of improved health, but will remain in hospital to receive specialist care, his daughter said on Tuesday.

The 96-year-old has an improved appetite and even made jokes with family, Marina Mahathir said in a statement.

She also said her father requested people not be too worried about his health.

"Mahathir and his family, were moved and thanked all who prayed for his speedy recovery," Marina said, referring to the wishes conveyed by foreign leaders and the people.

He is receiving treatment at the National Heart Institute under specialist supervision.

Mahathir, who is still an active lawmaker, was re-admitted to hospital after successfully undergoing an elective medical procedure on Jan. 8.

He was admitted and discharged in December after his doctors said they were satisfied with the results of necessary investigations

(Reporting by Liz Lee; Editing by Martin Petty)