Mahathir Mohamad Biography
Mahathir Mohamad (Mahathir bin Mohamad) is a Malaysian politician and the Prime Minister of Malaysia born on 10th July 1925 in Alor Setar, Kedah, Malaysia. He is the oldest currently serving state leader in the world.He is also the 10th oldest ever serving state leader in the world. He was granted the title of ‘The Father of Modernization’ by the Malaysian people for his work in economic development.
His father Mohamad bin Iskander was from Penang, an Indian with a Malay mother with ancestors from the South Indian state of Kerala and the first Malay headmaster of an English school (now Maktab Sultan Abdul Hamid) in Alor Setar, while his mother Wan Tempawan binti Wan Hanafi, was from Kedah, of Malay descent respectively and came from a long line of Kedah royal household courtiers
Mahathir Mohamad Education Background
In 1930 Mahathir Mohamad joined Seberang Perak Malay Boys School for his primary education and studied there for two years. In 1933 he won a position in a selective English medium secondary school, having become fluent in English well ahead of his primary school peers. With schools closed during the Japanese occupation of Malaya during World War II, he went into business, first selling coffee and later pisang goreng (fried banana) and other snacks.
In December 1946, after war, he graduated from secondary school by completing Senior Cambridge exams. He enrolled at King Edward VII College of Medicine in Singapore (now part of National University of Singapore) to study medicine.
Mahathir Mohamad Career in Medicine
After graduating from medical school he worked as a doctor in government service. In 1957 he returned to Alor Setar to set up his own practice. He gained a lot of success as he was the only Malay doctor in
Mahathir Mohamad Political Career
Mahathir Mohamad had been politically active since the end of the Japanese occupation of Malaya, when he joined protests against the granting of citizenship to non-Malays under the short-lived Malayan Union. He later argued for affirmative action for Malays at medical college. While at college he contributed to The Straits Times under the pseudonym “C.H.E. Det”, and a student journal, in which he fiercely promoted Malay rights, such as restoring Malay as an official language.
In 1959 Mahathir Mohamad was the chairman of the party in Kedah, by the time of the first general election for the independent state of Malaya. He had been active in UMNO while practising as a doctor.
During the 1959 election he was not a candidate despite his prominence in UMNO. He ruled himself out following a disagreement with then Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman.
In 1964 general election he was elected as the federal parliamentarian for the Alor Setar-based seat of Kota Setar Selatan. He was a backbencher and he launched himself into the main conflict of the day:
the future of Singapore, with its large and economically powerful ethnic Chinese population, as a state of Malaysia. He vociferously attacked Singapore’s dominant People’s Action Party for being “pro-
Chinese” and “anti-Malay” and called its leader, Lee Kuan Yew, “arrogant”. Singapore was expelled from Malaysia in Mahathir’s first full year in parliament.
During the 1969 election Mahathir Mohamad lost his seat to Yusof Rawa of the Pan- Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS). He attributed the loss of his seat to ethnic Chinese voters switching support from UMNO to PAS (being a Malay-dominated seat, only the two major Malay parties fielded candidates, leaving Chinese voters to choose between the Malay-centric UMNO and the Islamist PAS).
By the end of 1969 Mahathir Mohamad had been fired from UMNO’s Supreme Council and expelled from the party; Abdul Rahman had to be persuaded not to have him arrested. This was a result of him sending a letter to Abdul Rahman in which the prime minister was criticised for failing to uphold Malay interests. He had called for the resignation of Abdul Rahman due to the race riot that had cost the lives of hundreds.
In 1970 when Abdul Razak Hussein resigned he encouraged Mahathir Mohamad back into the party, and had him appointed as a Senator in 1973. He returned to UMNO’s Supreme Council in 1973.
In 1974 he was appointed as the Minister for Education. He also won the 1974 election as federal parliamentarian for Kubang Pasu (he was unopposed).
As the Minister for Education Mahathir Mohamad introduced greater government control over Malaysia’s universities, despite strong opposition from the academic community. He also moved to limit politics on university campuses, giving his ministry the power to discipline students and academics who were politically active, and making scholarships for students conditional on the avoidance of politics.
In 1976 after the death of Razak, Mahathir was apponted as the deputy prime minister. He was surprised by the appointment as he was not a close ally to Hussein Onn (The Prime Minister).
Mahathir Mohamad was not an influential deputy prime minister. Hussein was a cautious leader who rejected many of Mahathir’s bold policy proposals. While the relationship between Hussein and Mahathir was distant, Ghazali and Razaleigh became Hussein’s closest advisers, often bypassing the more senior Mahathir when accessing Hussein. Nonetheless, when Hussein relinquished power due to ill health in 1981, Mahathir succeeded him unopposed and with his blessing.
Mahathir Mohamad Prime Minister
At the age of 56 on 16th July 1981 Mahathir Mohamad was sworn as the Prime Minister. He appointed Musa Hitam, his close ally as the Deputy Minister. His first acts as the prime minister was to release 21 detainees held under the Internal Security Act, including journalist Samad Ismail and a former deputy minister in Hussein’s government, Abdullah Ahmad, who had been suspected of being an underground
communist. He stepped down in 2003 after 22 years in service as the Prime Minister.
In 1987 he instituted the Internal Security Act, which permitted him to close four newspapers and order the arrests of 106 activists, religious leaders and political opponents, including Anwar Ibrahim, his former deputy prime minister. He also altered the constitution to restrictive the interpretive power of the Supreme Court, and he forced a number of high-ranking members to resign.
From 1988 to 1996, Malaysia saw an 8 percent economic expansion, and Mahathir released an economic plan—The Way Forward, or Vision 2020—asserting that the country would be a fully developed nation by 2020. He helped shift the country’s economic base away from agriculture and natural resources and toward manufacturing and exporting, and the country’s per capita income doubled from 1990 to 1996.
Mahathir Mohamad Return to politcs
In the wake of the Malaysia Development Berhad scandal in 2015, Mahathir Mohamad became a vocal critic of Prime Minister Najib Razak’s government, even more so than Abdullah. He has repeatedly called for Najib to resign. On 30 August 2015, he and his wife, Siti Hasmah, attended the Bersih 4 rally, which saw tens of thousands demonstrating for Najib’s resignation.
In 2016, Mahathir Mohamad ignited several protests that culminated in the Malaysian Citizens’ Declaration by himself with the help of Pakatan Harapan and NGOs to oust Najib. Najib’s response to the corruption accusations has been to tighten his grip on power by replacing the deputy prime minister, suspending two newspapers and pushing through parliament a controversial National Security Council Bill that provides the prime minister with unprecedented powers.In June 2016, Mahathir also actively campaigned for AMANAH candidates from Pakatan Harapan for the 2016 Sungai Besar by-election and the 2016 Kuala Kangsar by-election.
By 2017, Mahathir Mohamad had registered a new political party and had it join Pakatan Harapan. He was proposed as a possible chairman and prime ministerial candidate of Pakatan Harapan.
In the 14th Malaysian general election held on 9 May 2018, Pakatan Harapan emerged as the winner and as its leader, Mahathir Mohamad became the new prime minister of Malaysia.
Mahathir Mohamad Books
- 1970: The Malay Dilemma
- 1999: A new deal for Asia
- 1998: The Way Forward
- 2002: Globalisation and the new realities
- 2002: Reflections on ASEAN
- 2015: The Wit and Wisdom of Dr Mahathir Mohamad
- 2008: Dr. Mahathir’s Selected Letters to World Leaders: Introduction and Selected Commentaries by Abdullah Ahmad
- 2000: The Malaysian Currency Crisis: How and why it Happened
- 1995: The Voice of Asia: Two Leaders Discuss the Coming Century
- 2004: Mahathir Mohamad: Achieving True Globalisation
- 1998: The challenge
- 2000: Islam and the Muslim ummah
- 2015: Dr. Mahathir’s Selected Letters to World Leaders Volume 1
- 2003: Terrorism and the real issues
- 2006: Islam, Knowledge, and Other Affairs
- 1998: Excerpts from the Speeches of Mahathir Mohamad on the Multimedia Super Corridor
- 2002: Mahathir Mohamad: A Visionary & His Vision of Malaysia’s K- economy
- 2001: Melayu Mudah Lupa
- 1989: Regionalism, Globalism, and Spheres of Influence: ASEAN and the Challenge of Change Into the 21st Century
- 2010: Through My Lenses
- 1998: The Challenges of Turmoil
- 2001: Malays forget easily
- 1993: Perspectives on Islam and the future of muslims
- 2000: Politics, Democracy and the New Asia: Selected Speeches
- 2008: The Malay Dilemma: With a New Preface
- 1995: The early years, 1947-1972
- 2000: Regional Cooperation and the Digital Economy: Selected Speeches
- 1997: Mahathir’s Views
- 1995: Arkitek negara
- 1997: The Asian values debate
- 1998: Building a new East Asia
- 2003: M Way: Mahathir’s Economic Legacy
- 2012: Perdana Discourse Series: Keynote Speeches
- 1974: Panduan peniaga kecil
- 2011: A Doctor in the House: The Memoirs of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad
- 2004: Mahathir on Science and Technology: A Commemorative Volume in Conjunction with the Award of Honorary Degree of Doctor of Science
- 1998: Building Regional Prosperity Through Economic Co-operation
- 1995: Democracy, human rights, EAEC, and Asian values
- 1996: Towards a Stable Asia
Mahathir Mohamad Family; Wife and Children
Mahathir Mohamad met Siti Hasmah Mohamad Ali at King Edward VII College of Medicine in Singapore while studying medicine. She was also a medical student at the time. They got married in 1956. Their first child, Marina, was born in 1957.
They have seven children three being adopted; Marina Mahathir, Mukhriz Mahathir, Mokhzani Mahathir, Mirzan Mahathir, Maizura Mahathir, Mazhar Mahathir and Melinda Mahathir
Mahathir Mohamad Net Worth
Mahathir Mohamad has an estimated net worth of $550 million.
Mahathir Mohamad NEWS
Malaysia’s central bank governor tenders resignation: PM Mahathir Mohamad
Malaysia’s central bank governor Muhammad Ibrahim has submitted his resignation, said Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad on Wednesday (Jun 6).
It was reported on Tuesday that Malaysia was discussing the exit terms of the Bank Negara governor, who had finished less than half of the five-year term he began in May 2016.
No decision has been made yet on a successor.
“We have not decided on his successor because we need to have the approval of the Agong before we can announce,” Dr Mahathir told a news conference after the weekly Cabinet meeting, adding that he plans to meet the king “as soon as possible” for further discussions on the matter.
According to Dr Mahathir, no concrete reason was given by Muhammad Ibrahim for his resignation.
Mahathir Mohamad also said that the new Malaysian government’s first parliament sitting will be held on Jul 16.
A Harvard University graduate, Muhammad was appointed as governor in May 2016 following the retirement of long-serving governor Zeti Akhtar Aziz.
Muhammad joined the bank in 1984 and rose to become the deputy governor in 2010 before assuming the top spot.
His resignation comes after Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said last month that funds from a land sale made by the government to the central bank for about 2 billion ringgit (US$502.51 million) were used to pay the liabilities of beleaguered state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).
Muhammad had defended the decision to purchase the plot of land, saying the transaction complied with government requirements.
Two sources told Reuters on Tuesday that former deputy central bank governor Nor Shamsiah Mohd Yunus, who left the bank when her term ended in November 2016, was among candidates being considered.
Source: Channel News Asia (6th June 2018)
Malaysia PM Mahathir says will inform Singapore of intent to drop high-speed rail project
Malaysia’s Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said on Tuesday (May 29) that he will inform Singapore about his country’s intention to withdraw from the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore high-speed rail (HSR) project.
“I made a statement to the press, but they will be informed,” he said when asked if Singapore had been told yet.
Singapore’s Ministry of Transport had said on Monday that it had not been formally notified of Malaysia’s plans to scrap the HSR project.
When asked if Dr Mahathir’s decision was final, Transport Minister Anthony Loke said the Malaysia Cabinet had not yet discussed the issue, but would do so at their weekly meeting on Wednesday.
“You have to ask the prime minister that,” he told reporters on the sidelines of a Vesak Day event in Brickfields.
Mahathir Mohamad has also asked former Barisan Nasional minister Abdul Rahman Dahlan, who had overseen the HSR project, to prove the allegations in his statement released on Tuesday evening.
In the statement, Abdul Rahman had said it would be a “big mistake” to cancel the KL-Singapore HSR project, as it would cost Malaysia an estimated RM209 billion in gross national income contribution and the potential to create 70,000 jobs.
“Ask him to show proof,” said Dr Mahathir. “We say we have lost RM1 trillion. We have papers (to show it). Show proof.”
Source: Channel News Asia (4th June 2018)
Mahathir Mohamad Video