Mahathir Mohamad Biography

(4th and 7th Prime Minister of Malaysia)

Birthday: July 10, 1925 (Cancer)

Born In: Alor Setar, Malaysia

Mahathir Mohamad is a Malaysian politician who is the seventh Prime Minister of Malaysia. The veteran politician had also previously been the prime minister from 1981 to 2003. With a career spanning over seven decades, he is one of the most respected political figures in Malaysia. During his previous tenure as the prime minister, he formulated policies that helped businesses flourish and made education easily available to the people of the country. While his polices have earned him a lot of criticism, Mahathir never wavered from his convictions. This healthy stubbornness makes him an effective politician. The first example of this resolve could be seen when he was exiled from politics for criticizing the current regime. Instead of cowering, he wrote ‘The Malay Dilemma’, which continued the critique. This book played a huge role in Prime Minister Rahman's resignation. His extensive career has cemented him as perhaps the most influential figure in Malaysia's political history. In his nineties now, he is the world's oldest head of state or government and the oldest living Prime Minister of Malaysia.
Quick Facts

Also Known As: Mahathir bin Mohamad

Age: 99 Years, 99 Year Old Males


Spouse/Ex-: Siti Hasmah Mohamad Ali

father: Mohamad Iskandar

mother: Wan Tempawan Wan Hanapi

siblings: Habsah Mohamad, Johora Mohamad, Mahadi Mohamad, Mashahor Mohamad, Murad Mohamad, Mustaffa Mohamad, Omar Mohamad, Rafeah Mohamad

children: Maizura Mahathir, Marina Mahathir, Mazhar Mahathir, Melinda Mahathir, Mirzan Mahathir, Mokhzani Mahathir, Mukhriz Mahathir

Prime Ministers Political Leaders

political ideology: Political party - United Malays National Organisation

Notable Alumni: University Of Malaya, King Edward VII College Of Medicine

Founder/Co-Founder: Proton

More Facts

education: King Edward VII College Of Medicine, University Of Malaya

awards: Jawaharlal Nehru Award for International Understanding

  • 1

    What is Mahathir Mohamad known for?

    Mahathir Mohamad is known for being the fourth and seventh Prime Minister of Malaysia, as well as a prominent political figure in the country.

  • 2

    What are some of Mahathir Mohamad's notable achievements during his time as Prime Minister?

    Some of Mahathir Mohamad's notable achievements include modernizing Malaysia's infrastructure, promoting economic growth, and implementing policies that transformed the country into a major economic player in the region.

  • 3

    How did Mahathir Mohamad impact Malaysia's economy during his tenure as Prime Minister?

    Mahathir Mohamad implemented the Vision 2020 initiative, which aimed to develop Malaysia into a fully industrialized country by the year 2020. His economic policies, such as the Look East Policy and the privatization of state-owned enterprises, played a significant role in shaping Malaysia's economy.

  • 4

    What role did Mahathir Mohamad play in shaping Malaysia's political landscape?

    Mahathir Mohamad is known for his strong leadership and authoritarian style of governance during his time as Prime Minister. He implemented various policies that were aimed at maintaining stability and promoting national unity, while also facing criticism for his handling of dissent and human rights issues.

  • 5

    How has Mahathir Mohamad's legacy influenced Malaysian politics and society?

    Mahathir Mohamad's legacy continues to influence Malaysian politics and society, with his policies and leadership style shaping the country's development trajectory. He remains a divisive figure, with supporters lauding his contributions to the nation's progress, while critics point to his controversial decisions and authoritarian tendencies.

Childhood & Early Life
Mahathir Mohamad was born on July 10, 1925 in Malaysia. He was raised in a poor neighborhood in Alor Setar region of the state of Kedah.
His father's name was Mohamad bin Iskandar. He was a principal with low socioeconomic standing. His mother was only a distant relative to Kedah royalty.
Mahathir excelled throughout school. He won a scholarship to an English secondary school.
He completed secondary school once the war ended. He enrolled in medical school at the ‘King Edward VII College of Medicine’ in Singapore.
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After graduating medical school Mahathir got his first job in the medical industry. He worked as a government service doctor until 1956. In the same year, he returned to his home region of Alor Setar and opened up a private practice. He was the only Malay doctor in the area at that time.
Mahathir's second love was politics. He was active in protests as a student, where he advocated for Malaysian independence.
He was a strict supporter of the ‘United Malays National Organisation’ during his time in Alor Setar. He quickly became a prominent member through charismatic advocacy of his positions.
In 1959, he came close to running for office but ended up withholding himself from the election in protest due to conflict with the Prime Minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman.
In 1964, he ran for his first political office and won. He was elected to the seat representing Kota Setar Seletan in the federal parliament.
Mahathir began his career in politics during a volatile time. Racial tensions between the Chinese and Malay reached a fever pitch in 1969. In that same year Mahathir lost his re-election campaign.
The race riots of May 1969 saw hundreds of Chinese and Malay killed. Mahathir wrote an open letter criticizing Rahman for favoring Chinese interests. This let her got him fired from the supreme council and kicked out of the UMNO party.
In 1970 he published his first book, ‘The Malay Dilemma’. It was a further critique on the lack of support from Rahman's administration for the Malay people. This criticism got the book banned.
Mahathir returned to politics in 1973 after a three year hiatus. He was appointed as a senator in new Prime Minister Abdul Razak Hussein's regime.
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In 1974, he was appointed as the Minster of Education. He also won the seat for Kubang Pasu in the House of Representatives.
He ran for a vice-presidency position in the UMNO party and won. This set him up to be named deputy prime minister shortly after.
In 1981, he became prime minister. The first two years of his tenure saw battles for more authority with the royal family.
From 1981 to 2003, Mahathir made a great impact on Malaysian politics with his progressive policies. His tenure spanning over two decades is the longest any elected leader has served in his country, which attests to his list of accomplishments.
He announced his retirement from politics in 2003. In retirement Mahathir wrote several books, with the most recent being his memoirs in 2011.
After several years, he returned to the political arena in the wake of the 1Malaysia Development Berhad scandal in 2015. He openly criticized Prime Minister Najib Razak's government and repeatedly called for his resignation. He associated himself with the party Pakatan Harapan and formed a new political party which he merged with Pakatan Harapan to form a coalition.
By 2017, he was actively participating in the politics of the country and was proposed as a possible prime ministerial candidate of Pakatan Harapan.
In January 2018, his official candidacy as a prime ministerial candidate was announced. In the 14th Malaysian general election held on 9 May 2018, Pakatan Harapan emerged as the winner and as its leader, Mahathir Mohamad is all set to become the new prime minister of Malaysia.
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Major Works
Mahathir's most significant work was his 1970 book ‘The Malay Dilemma’. Many scholars agree that this book played a large part in Rahman's downfall the same year.
His biggest achievement during his time as prime minister was his recovery strategy during the Asian financial crisis of 1998. He went against his advisers and tied the currency to the U.S dollar. This bold move let Malaysia recover quicker than other countries.
Awards & Achievements
He was granted the title of ‘The Father of Modernization’ by the Malaysian people for his work in economic development.
Personal Life & Legacy
Mahathir married his college sweetheart Siti Hasmah, in 1956. The couple had their first child, Marina, the following year.
They have six more children, three of which are biological and three that were adopted. Their names are Mirzan, Melinda, Mokhzani, Mukhriz, Maizura, and Mazhar.
Facts About Mahathir Mohamad

Mahathir Mohamad is an accomplished medical doctor, having graduated from the prestigious King Edward VII College of Medicine in Singapore in

He is known for his love of writing and has authored several books on various topics, including politics, economics, and his personal reflections on leadership.

Mahathir Mohamad is an avid sports enthusiast, with a particular fondness for horseback riding and golf. He has been known to engage in these activities to relax and unwind.

Despite his strong political persona, Mahathir Mohamad has a soft spot for animals and is a patron of various animal welfare organizations in Malaysia.

In addition to his native Malay language, Mahathir Mohamad is fluent in English and has a keen interest in linguistics, often studying and mastering new languages as a hobby.

See the events in life of Mahathir Mohamad in Chronological Order

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