Mahathir bin Mohamad is a Malaysian politician known for his work as the fourth and the seventh prime minister of Malaysia. Mahathir formed his own party Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia in 2016. Before entering the Parliament, Mohamad was active in the UMNO. By winning five consecutive general elections and fending off a series of rivals, Mahathir became a dominant political figure. He had already risen to Deputy Prime Minister by 1976 and was sworn to Prime Minister.
Mahathir Bin Mohamad: Short Bio
Mahathir Bin Mohamad was born on July 10, 1925, to Mohamad Bin Iskander and Wan Tempawan Binti Wan Hanafi in No.18, Lorong Kilang Ais, Seberang Perak, Alor Setar, the capital of Kedah, British Malaya. His father was a headmaster of an English school and his mother was from Kedah Royal Household Courtiers. His nationality is Malaysian and ethnicity is Malaysian Malay.
Mahathir joined Seberang Perak Malay Boys School in 1930 for his primary education and studied there for two years. Having fluency in English, Mohamad won a position in a selective English Medium Secondary School in 1933. He then, went into business, selling fried bananas, coffee, and other snacks when schools were closed during World War II. He graduated in December 1946, from secondary school by completing the Senior Cambridge exams after the war.
Mahathir then enrolled at the King Edward VII College of Medicine in Singapore which is now a part of the National University of Singapore to study medicine where he met Siti Hasmah Mohamad Ali his future wife. Mahathir worked as a doctor in government service after his graduation.
Since the end of the Japanese Occupation of Malaya, Mahathir has been active in politics protesting against the citizenship to non-Malays under Short-lived Malayan Union. In 1959, he became active in UMNO for the independent state of Malaya. Since Mahathir criticized Abdul Rahman’s Agreement to the retention of British and Commonwealth forces, the relationship between two Kedahans started to strain.
In 1964 general election, for the Alor setar-based seat of Kota Setar Selatan, Mahathir was elected as the Federal Parliament. After Mahathir was elected as a government backbencher, he launched himself into the main conflict of the day. In Mahathir’s first full year in parliament, Singapore was expelled from Malaysia.
Mahathir lost his seat in the 1969 election despite his prominence as a backbencher, defeated by Yusof Rawa of the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS). Mahathir was fired from UMNO’s Supreme Council by the end of the year and was expelled from the party.
Mahathir then wrote his first book, The Malay Dilemma when he was in the political wilderness. His book argued about a balance needed to be achieved between enough government support for Malaysia. The book also continued criticism of Abdul Rahman’s government and was banned.
However, the ban was lifted in 1981 after he became the prime minister. He then served as a minister and deputy prime minister.
After Abdul Razak Hussein replaced Abdul Rahman, he appointed Mohamad as a Senator in 1973. Mohamad returned to UMNO’s Supreme Council in 1973, he got appointed in the Cabinet as Minister of Education in 1974.
Mahathir is regarded as a successful Minister for Education and Minister for Trade and Industry (1978-81).
Mohamad was sworn in as Prime Minister at the age of 56 on July 16, 1981. He then appointed his ally Musa Hitam as Deputy Prime Minister. In 1987, Mohamad was challenged by Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah for the Presidency of UMNO.
In 1989, Mahathir suffered from a heart attack. After his recovery, he leads Barisan Nasional to victory in the 1990 election. Mahathir was given an opportunity to outline his economic vision for Malaysia by the Malaysian New Economic Policy in 1990.
Mahathir got himself battling Malaysia’s royalty in his second decade. In 2001, due to the prime minister, Mahathir's announcement about Malaysia was already an Islamic State, a debate was caused. Mahathir retired from his post in 2003 after being the world’s longest-serving leader. The same year Mahathir claimed that Jews rule the world by proxy at the 57-nation Islamic summit in Malaysia.
Mahathir was named a Grand Commander of the Order of the Defender of the realm on his retirement. He had heart surgery in 2007 following two heart attacks in 10 months.
After the 2008 election, Mahathir resigns from UMNO. Mahathir stepped down as an advisor of oil and gas company due to ill health following the resignation from Proton Holdings as chairman of the board which he had founded in 1983.
In 2017, Mahathir registered a new political party. Mahathir is sworn in as Prime minister for the second time on May 10, 2018.
A controversy was created after Mahathir mocked Najib Razak saying him ‘a prime minister from Bugis Pirates leading a country’. His statement ‘Go back to Sulawesi’ made people in Malaysia and Indonesia protest against him. It led to a disappointed Sultan of Johor and Sultan of Selangor who is of Bugis descent.
Mahathir as a longest-serving leader of Malaysia, has an estimated net worth of $44 billion and although his salary is not revealed, the average salary of PM from Malaysia is around RM. 22,826.65. Mahathir was prime minister for 22 years (1981-2003). Excluding his earnings as a doctor, Mahathir has made quite an earning form his political career.