- Mahathir bin Mohamad
Infobox Prime Minister
honorific-prefix = Yang Amat Berbahagia Tun Dr.
name = Mahathir bin Mohamad
order = 4th
Prime Minister of Malaysia
term_start = 16 July 1981
term_end = 31 October 2003
monarch = Sultan Ahmad Shah (1979 - 1984)Sultan Iskandar Al-haj (1984 - 1989)Sultan Azlan Shah (1989 - 1994)Tuanku Jaafar Tuanku Abdul Rahman (1994 - 1999)Tuanku Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah (1999 - 2001)
Tuanku Syed Sirajuddin(2001 - 2006)
Musa Hitam(1981 - 1986) Ghafar Baba(1986 - 1993) Anwar Ibrahim(1993 - 1998) Abdullah Ahmad Badawi(1998 - 2003)
predecessor = Tun Hussein bin Dato' Onn
Abdullah Ahmad Badawi
birth_date = Birth date and age|1925|12|20|df=y
Alor Star, Kedah Darul Aman, Malaya
party = None (formerly
Barisan Nasional, UMNO)cite news|date=2008-05-19 |url=http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080519/ap_on_re_as/malaysia_mahathir_2| title=Malaysia's Mahathir quits ruling party|publisher= Yahoo]
spouse = Tun
Dr. Siti Hasmah
Doctor of Medicine
order2 = 4th
Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia
term_start2 = 15 September 1978
term_end2 = 16 July 1981
Tun Dr. Mahathir bin Mohamad (IPA2|ma'ħɑ.ðiɽ bin mʊħɑmmæd̚) "(recorded as born on 20 December 1925)" was the fourth Prime Minister of
Malaysia. He held the post for 22 years from 1981 to 2003, making him Malaysia's longest-serving Prime Minister, and one of the longest-serving leaders in Asia. [cite news|publisher=BBC|accessdate=2008-01-06|title=Profile: Mahathir Mohamad|url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/2059518.stm] During his term in office, he was credited for engineering Malaysia's rapid modernizationand promoting non-individualistic " Asian values". [cite web|publisher=The National Interest|url=http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m2751/is_2000_Spring/ai_61299048/pg_7|title=What Mahathir Has Wrought|author=Jones, David Martin|accessdate=2008-01-25|year=2000] Mahathir is also known for his criticisms of western and developed countries.
During his administration, he was considered as one of Asia's most influential leaders. [cite web|url=http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0BJT/is_18_7/ai_55881178|title=Asia's 20 Most Influential Figures|publisher=Business Asia|date=13 September 1999|accessdate=2008-02-01] Mahathir is also noted in the Western world as an outspoken critic of Western civilization.cite web|url=http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/commandingheights/shared/minitextlo/int_mahathirbinmohamad.html|title=Commanding Heights: Dr. Mahathir bin Mohamad|publisher=PBS.org|accessdate=2008-02-01]
Mahathir was born on 10 July 1925, in
Alor Star, the capital of the northern state of Kedah. [Dr Mahathir's real birthday is on 10 July 1925, but his official birthday registered by his father is 20 December 1925]
World War II, he sold pisang goreng(banana fritters) and other snacks to supplement his family income during the Japanese occupation of Malaya. Mahathir attended a Malay vernacular school before continuing his education at the Sultan Abdul Hamid Collegein Alor Star. Mahathir then attended the King Edward VII Medical College in Singapore, where he edited a medical student magazine called " The Cauldron"; he also contributed to the " The Straits Times" newspaper anonymously under the nickname "Che Det". Mahathir was also President of the Muslim Society in the college. [ Tan, Chee Khoon & Vasil, Raj (ed., 1984). "Without Fear or Favour", pp. 49, 50. Eastern Universities Press. ISBN 967-908-051-X ] Upon graduation in 1953, Mahathir joined the then Malayan government service as a medical officer. He married Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali—a fellow doctor and former classmate in college—on 5 August 1956, and left government service in 1957 to set up his own private practice in Alor Star. Mahathir thrived in private practice, and allowed him to own by 1959 a Pontiac Catalinaand employ an ethnic Chinese chauffeur(at the time, almost all chauffeurs in Malaysia were Malays, owing to the economic dominance of the ethnic Chinese). [cite news|url=http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1552090-2,00.html|title=Not the Retiring Type|publisher=Time Magazine|accessdate=2008-02-01] Some critics have suggested this foreshadowed a later hallmark of Mahathir's politics, which focused on the "cultivation of such emblems of power".cite news|author=Beech, Hannah|date=30 October 2006|url=http://www.time.com/time/asia/covers/501061106/story2.html|title=Not the Retiring Type|page=2|publisher=TIME]
From his marriage with Siti Hasmah binti Haji Mohamad Ali, they have five children, [cite news|publisher=The Straits Times|url=http://app.mfa.gov.sg/pr/read_content.asp?View,5654,|date=20 October 2006|title=It All Began With Simple Request To Mahathir's Son|accessdate=2008-01-15] three sons and two daughters. Both Mukhriz and
Mokhzani Mahathir[cite news | first=Assif| last=Shameen| coauthors= | title=Mokhzani Mahathir That's my boy! | date= 2001-05-11| url =http://www.pathfinder.com/asiaweek/magazine/nations/0,8782,108635,00.html | publisher =Asiaweek | accessdate = 2008-01-12 | language = ] are involved in business as well as in politics while their eldest daughter Marina Mahathiris a prominent local writer and AIDS activist. [cite news | first=Vaudine | last=England | coauthors= | title=Mahathir's daughter makes her own mark | date= 2005-05-04| url =http://www.iht.com/articles/2005/05/03/news/mahathir.php | publisher =International Herald Tribune | accessdate = 2008-01-12 | language = ]
He successfully underwent a heart bypass operation in 1989 at age 63.
In the third general election of 1964, Mahathir was elected
Member of Parliamentfor Kota Setar Selatan [ Tan & Vasil, p. 50 ] defeating the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party's (PAS) candidate with a 60.2% majority. He lost the seat in the following general election in 1969 by a mere 989 votes to PAS's candidate, Haji Yusoff RawaTan & Vasil, p. 51 ] .
Following the race riots of 13 May 1969, Mahathir was sacked from the UMNO Supreme Council on 12 July, following his widespread distribution to the public of his letter to
Tunku Abdul Rahman, the Prime Minister at that time. In his letter, he had criticised the manner in which Tunku Abdul Rahman had handled the country's administration which was believed to favour the ethnic Chinese. Mahathir was subsequently relieved of his party membership on 26 September.
While in the political wilderness, Mahathir wrote his book, "
The Malay Dilemma" in which he sought to explain the causes of the 13 May Incident in Kuala Lumpurand the reasons for the Malays' lack of economic progress within their own country. He then proposed a politico-economic solution in the form of "constructive protection", worked out after careful consideration of the effects of heredityand environmental factors on the Malay race. The book, published in 1970, was promptly banned by the Tunku Abdul Rahman government. However, some of the proposals in this book had been used by Tun Abdul Razak, Tunku Abdul Rahman's successor, in his "New Economic Policy" (NEP) that was principally geared towards affirmative actioneconomic programs to address the nation's economic disparity between the Malays and the non-Malays. The ban on his book was eventually lifted after Mahathir became Prime Minister in 1981.
Mahathir rejoined UMNO on 7 March 1972, and was appointed as Senator in 1973. He relinquished the senatorship post in 1974 in order to contest in the general elections where he was returned unopposed in the constituency of Kubang Pasu, and was appointed as the Minister of Education. In 1975, he became one of the three vice-presidents of UMNO, after winning the seat by 47 votes. Tun
Hussein Onnappointed Mahathir as Deputy Prime Minister on 15 September 1978, and in a Cabinet reshuffle, appointed him concurrently as the Minister of Trade and Industry.
Mahathir has announced that he has resigned from UMNO, the backbone of the ruling party, the Barisan National on 19 May 2008 which coincides with the Wesak Day celebration.
Mahathir became the Prime Minister of Malaysia on 16 July 1981 when Tun Hussein Onn stepped down due to health reasons. He was the nation's first Prime Minister that came from a modest social background, whereas the first three prime ministers were members of the royal or elite families."Datuk Seri Mahathir Mohamad." "Encyclopedia of World Biography". Vol. 10. 2nd ed. Detroit: Gale, 2004. 134-135. 23 vols. "Gale Virtual Reference Library". Gale. 11 May 2008]
After 22 years in office, Mahathir retired on 31 October 2003, making him one of Asia's longest-serving
political leaders. Upon his retirement on 31 October 2003, Mahathir was awarded a "Tun"-ship, Malaysia's highest civilian honour.
Major constitutional changes
In 1983 and 1991, he took on the federal and state monarchies, removing the royal
vetoand royal immunity from prosecution. Prior to this amendment of the law, royal assent was required in order for any bill to pass into law. With effect of this amendment, approval by parliament could be legally considered as royal assent after a period of 30 days, notwithstanding the views of the monarchs. However, this only applied to secular laws and the various sultans continued to enjoy the right to make Islamic law in their own jurisdictions.
In 1988 when the future of the ruling party UMNO was about to be decided in the Supreme Court (it had just been deregistered as an illegal society in the High Court), he was believed to have engineered the dismissal of the Lord President of the Supreme Court,
Salleh Abas, and three other supreme court justices who tried to block the misconduct hearings. The series of incidents in 1988 has been widely viewed as the end of the Malaysian judiciary's independence from the executive.
During his term in office, Mahathir turned Malaysia into a regional high-tech
manufacturing, financial, and telecommunicationshub through his economic policies based on corporate nationalism, known as the various "Malaysia Plans" which set out the government middle-term objectives. These policies with strong Keynesiantendency remained in effect almost to the end of his tenure in office. Fact|date=August 2008
His pet projects have included
Perwaja Steel, an attempt to emulate South Koreaand Japan, the Proton car company, and Astro, a satellite televisionservice. Fact|date=August 2008
Mahathir is credited with spearheading the phenomenal growth of the Malaysian economy, now one of the largest in South East Asia. Growth between 1988 and 1997 averaged over ten percent and living standards rose twentyfold, with
povertyrelatively almost eradicated and social indicators such as literacylevels and infant mortalityrates becoming almost on par with developed countries. Fact|date=August 2008
During this period, Mahathir embarked on various large scale national projects, such as the North-South Expressway,
Multimedia Super Corridor, the planned capital city of Putrajaya, Johor's Port of Tanjung Pelepas, Kuala Lumpur International Airport, the Bakun Dam in Sarawak, and the Petronas Towers.
While such projects have their benefits, corresponding high costs have made some Malaysians reluctant to engage in more of such ventures, believing that the money can be better spent on other areas of development. [cite news|publisher=BusinessWeek|url=http://www.businessweek.com/1999/99_12/b3621027.htm |title= Mahathir's High-Tech Folly|author=Einhorn, Bruce; Prasso, Sheri|accessdate=2008-04-10] On the other hand, Mahathir has always argued that such projects yield a direct return to the economy, apart from just serving the national pride, as government spendings in turn create jobs along with other multiplier effects. Mahathir has also been criticised for the failures and inefficiency of some of his pet projects. Perwaja Steel eventually failed and had to be rescued by a corporate white knight. Its chairman,
Eric Chia, faced charges of corruption in 2004. Proton eventually had to be bought by Petronaswhen its parent DRB-HICOMfound itself over-extended, and is still currently fighting to become profitable. Astro enjoyed a monopolyon pay television services in Malaysia until 2005 when it ended with the granting of a licence to a rival MiTV
Bakun Damproject was to be managed by a local construction firm, Ekran Berhad. It issued a 1-for-1 on time rights issuewhich was 63% undersubscribed (the first time in Malaysia for an event of this magnitude). Ekran's chairman, Ting Pek King, had to purchase all unsubscribed shares at a cost of $500 million ringgitdue to his agreement with the underwriters. Subsequently the damproject was taken back by the government which was obliged to pay Ekran for the work already completed. Fact|date=August 2008
1997 Asian financial crisis
During the Asian financial crisis of 1997, IMF had prescribed a recovery package for Malaysia, but Mahathir defied international pressure, his then Deputy Anwar Ibrahim, and conventional wisdom, in rejecting the package. Though economic prosperity has been mixed since then, Mahathir argued that Malaysia's recovery was relatively faster and better, as compared to many other Asian countries affected. After the financial crisis, the IMF and World Bank acknowledged that Mahathir's approach had worked. [cite news|publisher=The New York Times|url=http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9C04EFDD133AF937A3575AC0A96F958260&sec=&spon=&pagewanted=all |title= INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS: The Ostrich That Roared; Did Malaysia, Its Head in the Sand, Duck the Asian Crisis?|author=Landler, Mark|accessdate=2008-01-15]
During Mahathir's administration, there are a few
speculationactivities made by the administration which caused losses for Malaysia. Between 1981 and 1982, Malaysian businesses became involved in the international tin venture. The activity caused the price of the commodity to skyrocket, resulting in the collapse of the export market for tin. This venture cost Malaysia USD80 million or MYR 209 million in losses. [cite news|url=http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9A0DE4D7153AF931A25752C1A960948260|title=Malaysia Loss In Tin Venture|publisher=New York Times|date=12 November 1986]
Bank Negara Malaysiabecame involved in the Pound Sterling speculation. The speculation activity failed and costs the central bank USD 4 billion. [cite news|url=http://www.asiaweek.com/asiaweek/98/0925/biz5.html|title=NO SECOND THOUGHTS|publisher=Asiaweek] In 1994, the bank continued to pursue the speculation activity and further lost USD 2.2 billion. Finally, in 1994, the central bank technically become insolvent and was bailed out by the Ministry of Finance. [ [Millman (p. 229)] ] [cite web|url=http://dapmalaysia.org/all-archive/English/2004/jan04/lks/lks2837.htm|title=White paper on RM 30 billion Bank Negara forex losses|publisher=DAP Malaysia|accessdate=2008-02-01]
acking of Anwar Ibrahim
In 1998, the government brought charges of sexual misconduct and abuse of power charges against the former finance minister and deputy prime minister,
Anwar Ibrahim. Anwar claimed that he was being set up because he had tried to turn corruption and nepotisminto major political issues, with Mahathir and his associates as the targets. Mahathir's supporters believe that it was Anwar's attempt to replace Mahathir as the Prime Minister, upon seeing the downfall of Indonesia's Suharto, that has led him to be removed from politics altogether.
The government included the statements of the purported victims of Anwar's sexual assaults, evidence that was alleged by some to be tainted. [cite news|publisher=BBC|title=Diplomat 'tried to frame Anwar'|url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/699873.stm|date=3 April 2000|accessdate=2008-01-15] [cite news|publisher=BBC|title=Anwar's brother: Threats forced sex confession |date=30 June 1999|url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/382110.stm|accessdate=2008-01-15] Furthermore, the prosecution was unable to accurately decide on a date that the alleged acts of anal sex had occurred - the government originally alleged that a sodomy had occurred inside a building that had not been constructed at the time of the alleged event. When the anomaly was pointed out, the prosecution amended the date of the alleged acts to a date after the building was built. Mahathir himself went as far as to go on television to declare Anwar guilty of sodomy and homosexual acts, even as the trial still was underway. There was widespread condemnation of the trial from human rights groups and the Malaysia bar association, who expressed serious doubts about its fairness. Mahathir then ordered a crackdown on the media and opposition parties who protested the trial.
Anwar Ibrahimwas sentenced to six years in prison for corruption and nine years prison for sodomy, to be served consecutively. [cite web|url=http://web.amnesty.org/library/Index/ENGASA280152003?open&of=ENG-MYS|title=Malaysia: Double injustice heaped on Anwar Ibrahim|publisher=Amnesty International (Press Release)|date=18 April 2003|accessdate=2008-02-01] [cite web|url=http://www.hrw.org/press/1999/jun/anwar0610.htm|title=Human Rights Watch Monitors Second Anwar Trial|publisher=Human Rights Watch|accessdate=2008-01-06]
The Anwar crisis sparked protests by some Malaysians, of all
ethnic groups, and some of Anwar's supporters from UMNO regrouped around the intellectual-Muslim "Parti Keadilan Nasional" (National Justice Party). It garnered widespread support from Malaysians, however it managed to win only five parliamentary seats in the 1999 elections. [cite web|url=http://www.southasiaanalysis.org/papers/paper95.html|title=10th General Elections in Malaysia - An analysis|publisher=South Asia Analysis Group|accessdate=2008-04-10] In the subsequent 2004 elections, with Anwar's release and conviction overturned, the party was nearly wiped out, with Wan Azizah, the wife of Anwar, winning one seat by a narrow margin.
However, the 2008 elections showed a comeback from the opposition parties with Keadilan winning the Selangor state.
In 1974, Mahathir was appointed Minister of Education. [cite web|author=Melina Nathan|url=http://www.tunmahathir.com/php_portal/page/page.php?page_id=26|title=Strongman Who Goes His Own Way|publisher=Tun Mahathir.com|accessdate=2008-01-20] [cite web|url=http://pmproject.doubleukay.com/bio_2.html|title=The Malay Nationalist (1965 - 1981)|publisher=Prime Minister Project.doubleukay.com|accessdate=2008-01-20] He had always believed in the need for "education for the masses", with greater emphasis on maths and science, at high school level, in order to achieve his dream of a developed Malaysia. He continued to strongly promote his agenda of quantity-and-quality
higher educationduring his term as prime minister.Fact|date=January 2008
In those days, English, Chinese and Tamil-medium schools were fully run by private and missionary organizations. Students from these school sat for the respective overseas examinations set by the board of school committees and associations. For instance, Overseas Cambridge School Certificate (OSC) was set for English schools.Fact|date=May 2008 Under the former Prime Minister's order, he drafted the KBSM syllabus in order to make Malay a compulsory subject to be taught in all subjects in these schools. Overseas examinations were subsequently abolished one after another throughout the years. Schools which converted to the national type received heavy fundings from the government. Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) and Sijil Rendah Pelajaran (SRP) were fully introduced as national examinations.Fact|date=May 2008
In order to cater for the lower income indigenous population,
boarding schools were promoted and constructed. Through government scholarships, tens of thousands of students were sent yearly to universities in the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia—western-type countries that Mahathir aspired to achieve par development with. Middle- and higher-income groups from non-Bumiputera Malaysians who were unable to get a place in the local universities, due to the restrictive quota system and limited government scholarships, also independently sent their children to these universities. This has led Malaysia to have the third largest number of students going to western-type countries to pursue higher education, after Chinaand India.Fact|date=April 2007
In 1980, education quota was introduced as part of the National Economic Policy. [ [http://books.google.com/books?id=lAq9E1p7APEC&pg=PA25&lpg=PA25&dq=education+quota+nep&source=web&ots=R7Q9t8rSQZ&sig=dVvf5wtpC6Kh__vgRVTxcrwzmII Regional Outlook: Southeast Asia 2003-2004 By Russell Hiang-Khng Heng, Denis Hew] ] Mahathir who became the acting prime minister, introduced the quota system to all economic sectors in Malaysia including the education system, whereby a designated percentage of undergraduate seats of higher institutions were reserved for Bumiputra (natives) citizens.
Towards his later years, Mahathir promoted the
liberalizationof university start-ups, leading to branch campuses being built or the formation of permanent tie-ups with some of the most prestigious universities in the world. Amongst others, these led to the construction of the University of Nottingham in Malaysia (in partnership with the University of Nottingham, U.K.), Malaysia University of Science and Technology (M.U.S.T.), in partnership with M.I.T. (U.S.) and Motorola) , Monash University Malaysia (in partnership with Monash University, Australia) and Curtin University of Technology, Sarawak Campus (in partnership with Curtin University of Technology, Australia)
Private companies with a long running history in Malaysia like
Inteland AMDwere also encouraged to set up, and run partnerships and/or higher education centres and centres of excellence.
In the year before his retirement, he announced that Mathematics and Science subjects must be taught in English in all primary and secondary schools with aim to increase competitiveness of Malaysian students. [cite news|publisher=Business Week|url=http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/02_30/b3793090.htm|title=Mahathir's Change of Heart? |date=29 July 2002|accessdate=2008-01-25]
During Mahathir's tenure in office, Malaysia's relationship with the West was generally fine despite being known to be an outspoken critic towards them. Early during his tenure, a small disagreement with the United Kingdom over university
tuitionfees sparked off a boycott of all British goods led by Mahathir, in what became known as the "Buy British Last" campaign. It also led to a search for development models in Asia, most notably Japan. This was the beginning of his famous "Look East Policy". Although the dispute was later resolved by Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, Mahathir continued to emphasize Asian development models over contemporary Western ones.
Mahathir has always been an outspoken critic of the United States and yet the United States was the biggest source of foreign
investment, and was Malaysia's biggest customer during Mahathir's rule. Furthermore, Malaysian military officers continued to train in the US under the International Military Education and Training (IMET) program.
Some say that relations with the United States took a turn for the worse in 1998, [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/216500.stm World: Asia-Pacific Reform protests follow Gore's Malaysia speech] ] when US Vice President
Al Gorestated at the APEC conference hosted by Malaysia:
Democracyconfers a stamp of legitimacy that reforms must have in order to be effective. And so, among nations suffering economic crises, we continue to hear calls for democracy, calls for reform, in many languages - People Power, doi moi, reformasi. We hear them today - right here, right now - among the brave people of Malaysia."
Al Gore left immediately after making that statement, probably as a form of protest.Fact|date=April 2008
Al Gore and the United States were critical of the trial of Mahathir's former deputy
Anwar Ibrahim, going as far to label it as a "show trial". The trial itself was a tawdry spectacle. The government included the statements of the purported "victims" of Anwar's sodomy attacks, evidence that was widely considered to be tainted. Furthermore, the prosecution was unable to accurately decide on a date that the alleged acts of anal sex had occurred - the government originally alleged that a sodomy had occurred inside a building that had not been constructed at the time of the alleged event. Mahathir himself went as far as to go on television to declare Anwar guilty of sodomy and homosexual acts, even as the trial still was underway. In response to widespread condemnation of the trail from human rights groups and the Malaysia bar association, he ordered a crackdown on the media and opposition parties who protested the trial. Many of the "reformasi" supporters who were against Mahathir at that time were arrested by the FRU and Special Branch and were detained without trial under the ISA. Some of them were opposition supporters, and some of them were former academics.
Also, Anwar Ibrahim was the preeminent Malaysian spokesperson for the economic policies preferred by the
IMF, which included interest rate hikes, among others. An article in "Malaysia Today" commented that "Gore's comments constituted a none-too-subtle attack on Malaysia's Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and more generally on governments, including Japan, that resist US demands for further market reforms." [Symonds, Peter. [http://www.malaysia-today.net/SunWDML/2004_10_03_MT_SunWDML_archive.htm "What Anwar Ibrahim means by "reformasi" in Malaysia"] , "Malaysia Today"] Gore's endorsement for the "reformasi" (reformation) asking for (among other things) the ouster of Mahathir, was anathema to Mahathir, and he remarked that "I've never seen anybody so rude". This also summed up the Malaysian expectation that one who is a guest should not show such discourtesy to the host. [ [http://premium.cnn.com/ASIANOW/asiaweek/98/1127/nat1.html Shattered Summit: A high-handed speech by Al Gore started this year's APEC meeting on the wrong foot. It never recovered] ]
However, Mahathir's views were already firmly entrenched before this event. For example, before the ASEAN meeting in 1997, he made a speech condemning the
Universal Declaration of Human Rights, calling it an oppressive instrument by which the United States and other countries try to impose their values on Asians. He went on to share his view that Asians need stability and economic growthmore than civil liberties. These remarks did not endear him to U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, who was a guest at the meeting.
The relationship was stormy both ways. Following Anwar Ibrahim's sacking and subsequent imprisonment,
Madeleine Albrightpaid a visit to Anwar's wife.
Yet Mahathir has not hesitated to point to America for justification of his own actions. In speaking of arbitrary detention without trial of prisoners of conscience in Malaysia, he said: "Events in the United States have shown that there are instances where certain special powers need to be used in order to protect the public for the general good."
At the other end of the spectrum, the United States government has previously criticised the Malaysian government for implementing the ISA, most recently in 2001 when President
George W. Bushsaid "The Internal Security Act is a draconian law. No country should any longer have laws that allow for detention without trial." In 2004, however, Bush reversed his stance and claimed "We cannot simply classify Malaysia’s Internal Security Act as a draconian law."
In 2003 Mahathir spoke to the
Non-Aligned Movementin Kuala Lumpur, and as part of his speech, said:
"If innocent people who died in the attack on
Afghanistanand those who have been dying from lack of food and medical care in Iraqare considered collaterals, are the 3,000 who died in New York, and the 200 in Bali also just collaterals whose deaths are necessary for operations to succeed?"Clarifyme|date=September 2007
Marie Huhtala, the American
ambassadorto Malaysia responded with a statement:
"These are not helpful statements by any standard, and I'm here to tell you that Washington does take note of them. They are bound to have a harmful effect on the relationship."
In spite of all this, Malaysia's relationship with the US has been strong. A 2003 house subcommittee hearing (Serial No. 108–21) on US policy towards South East Asia sums it up as "Despite sometimes blunt and intemperate public remarks by Prime Minister Mahathir, U.S.-Malaysian cooperation has a solid record in areas as diverse as education, trade, military relations, and
Even after retirement, Mahathir was not hesitant about his criticisms of the United States. In 2004, (The Star, 18 October 2004), he was quoted as having said "The American people are, by and large, very ignorant and know nothing about the rest of the world.... Yet they are the people who will decide who will be the most powerful man in the world". In the same interview, he also predicted
George W. Bush's victory in the 2004 United States Presidential Election, in which he was later proven correct. In another October 2006 interview with Associated Press, he predicted that the Republicians will retain both chambers in the 2006 mid-term elections because "American voters are not astute and will be fooled by President George W. Bush's propaganda." This prediction was proven faulty.
Mahathir's relationship with
Australia(the closest country in the Anglosphereto Malaysia, and the one whose foreign policyis most concentrated on the region), and his relationship with Australia's political leaders, has been particularly rocky. Mahathir regularly took offense at portrayals of Malaysia in the Australian media (which criticized Mahathir's belligerence and outspokeness), calling on the government to intervene in this (an action that would be politically unthinkable in Australia). Relationships between Mahathir and Australia's leaders reached a low point in 1993 when Paul Keatingdescribed Mahathir as "recalcitrant" for not attending the APEC summit. (It is thought that Keating's description was a linguistic gaffe, and that what he had in mind was "intransigent".) [cite news |title=Mending fences |author=Joseph Masilamany |publisher=theSun|url=http://www.sun2surf.com/article.cfm?id=14613 |date= 2006-06-29|accessdate=2006-08-10]
Mahathir, along with other Malaysian
politicians (and many other Asian leaders) also heavily criticized Keating's successor, John Howard, whom he believed had encouraged Pauline Hanson, whose views were widely perceived in AsiaFact|date=December 2007 (and Australia [cite news |title=Upsetter tips the apple cart |author=Nicolas Rothwell |publisher=The Australian |date= 1998-07-16|page=4] ) as racist. Australian politicians then pointed out Mahathir's farcical trial of Anwar Ibrahim, saying that the prosecution was using homophobic overtones. Fact|date=June 2008
Mahathir has valued the right of a nation to do whatever it wants within its borders, which he calls "
sovereignty". This was articulated in the ASEAN policy of non-interference. In 2000, Mahathir was quoted as saying: "If Australia wants to be a friend to Asia, it should stop behaving as if it is there to teach us how to run our country. It is a small nation in terms of numbers and it should behave like a small nation and not be a teacher." He also said, "This country stands out like a sore thumb trying to impose its European values in Asia as if it is the good old days when people can shoot aborigines without caring about human rights". Fact|date=June 2008
Mahathir also made remarks to the effect that
John Howardwas trying to be America's 'Deputy Sheriff' in the Pacific region. This was in response to John Howard's statement that they would pursue terrorists over the borders of their neighbours.
His perception of Howard has not softened after retirement. In an interview, he stated: "They (accepted) Blair, and I am sure they will accept Bush. They have already accepted Howard who told a blatant lie", a reference to the "
Children overboard" scandal during the run-up to the 2001 Australian elections.
Despite this supposed non-interference policy, Malaysia during Mahathir's premiership had been constantly criticising Singapore, but would take the slightest unfavourable comment coming from Singapore as an attempt to interfere in the domestic affairs of Malaysia. Fact|date=March 2008
Under Mahathir, Malaysia was a staunch supporter of the
Palestiniancause, and established diplomatic relations with the Palestine Liberation Organization. (Israeli citizens remain banned from entering Malaysia and Malaysian citizens from Israelwithout special government permission.) In 1986, a major diplomatic row erupted with neighbouring Singapore when Chaim Herzog, the President of Israel, paid a state visit.
Mahathir's public remarks about Jews date back as early as 1970 when he wrote in his controversial book "
The Malay Dilemma": "The Jews for example are not merely hook-nosed, but understand money instinctively." [ [http://www.adl.org/Anti_semitism/Malaysian_1.asp MMalaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad: On Jews ] ] The Boston Globe: " [http://www.boston.com/news/globe/editorial_opinion/oped/articles/2003/10/23/rousing_muslim_bigotry/ Rousing Muslim bigotry] "]
In 1997, during the financial crisis, he attributed the collapse of the Malaysian
ringgitto a conspiracy of Jews against a prosperous Muslim state: "The Jews robbed the Palestinians of everything, but in Malaysia they could not do so, hence they do this, depress the ringgit." Under strong international criticism, he issued a partial retraction, but not in Malay language media sources. [ [http://www.iht.com/articles/1997/10/11/malay.t.php Mahathir Suspects Link to Ringgit's Fall: Malaysian Leader Sees Hidden Jewish 'Agenda'] "International Herald Tribune", 11 October 1997.]
On 16 October 2003, shortly before he stepped down as prime minister, Mahathir said during a summit for the
Organization of the Islamic Conference(OIC) in Putrajaya, that:
He also named
Israelas "the enemy allied with most powerful nations." Israel strongly criticized the remarks. The speech was also condemned by most nations from the West. Speaking on behalf of the European Union, Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattinisaid that Dr Mahathir had employed "expressions that were gravely offensive, very strongly anti-Semitic and... strongly counter to principles of tolerance, dialogue and understanding'." At the same time, Mahathir's speech was defended by several Muslim leaders and politicians, including Egyptian foreign minister Ahmed Maherand Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai. [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/3196234.stm "Malaysia defends speech on Jews"] , " BBC News", 17 October 2003.] United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Ricesaid Bush considered the comments "reprehensible and hateful." [http://www.rferl.org/features/2003/10/20102003163228.asp U.S.: Comments raise specter of religious clash within terror war] RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty] The Muslim Public Affairs Councilcondemned Mahathir's remarks as "extremely offensive, anti-Semitic comments." The Malaysian prime minister's comments were also condemned by Jewish organizations and the government of Israel.
His comments were widely criticized in the West, but the issue was ignored in Asia and Islamic countries, which felt that his remark had been taken out of context. Mahathir later defended his remarks, saying: "I am not anti-Semitic ... I am against those Jews who kill Muslims and the Jews who support the killers of Muslims."He tagged the West as "
anti-Muslim", for double standards by "protecting Jews while allowing others to insult Islam." He also said "But when somebody condemns the Muslims, calls my prophet, "terrorist", did the European Unionsay anything?" [ [http://www.cnn.com/2003/WORLD/asiapcf/southeast/10/21/mahathir.speech/ "Mahathir hits back in Jewish row"] , "CNN News", 21 October 2003.]
Mahathir is an alumnus of the
National University of Singapore(previously named University of Malaya). He graduated as a physician from then King Edward VII Medical College in 1953, during British rule. He is held in high regard by his alma mater, and regularly attends reunions.
However, relations with Singapore under Mahathir's tenure have been stormy. Many disputed issues raised during his administration have not been resolved, and in fact have been exaggerated. Many of these international issues have been raised up under Mahathir's Premiership term, but no significant headway had been made then to resolve them bilaterally. Issues have included:
*the low price of raw water paid by Singapore to Malaysia (3 Malaysian cents (US$0.008) per 1000 gallons);
*the proposed replacement of the Causeway by a
suspension bridgeto improve water flow through the Straits of Johor(later cancelled by Mahathir's successor, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi);
land reclamationwork, affecting shipping access to Port Tanjung Pelepas;
*the use of Malaysian
airspaceby Republic of Singapore Air Forcejets;
*the status of Pedra Branca Island (also known as "Pulau Batu Putih"), was brought to the
International Court of Justiceand now belongs to Singapore; and
* the sovereignty of the railway line crossing Singapore and Points of Agreement regarding the matter.
Both sides had stubbornly refused to compromise, with the result of bilateral relations turning frosty.Fact|date=April 2007 The absurdity of the whole situation was illustrated by Mahathir's proposal to replace the Malaysian portion of the Causeway with half a bridge, with the end result, a structure which would symbolise Singapore's uncompromising attitude.Fact|date=April 2007 Under Prime Minister Abdullah, relations have begun to thaw, and inter-citizen relations have gone on much as they have before in that they are totally independent of political bickering. Many Singaporeans and Malaysians have relatives on the both sides of the Causeway, and despite the bickering of both governments over different issues, relations between citizens of both countries remained unaffected.
Recently, the issue of replacement of the Causeway with a bridge and the use of Malaysian airspace by the RSAF have been successfully solved by Mahathir's successor Abdullah, an issue that has been heavily criticised by Mahathir.
People's Republic of China
anti-communistin his early career, Mahathir highly approves of the new directions adopted by the People's Republic of China(PRC) after Deng Xiaoping's ascension to power. Malaysia and the PRC maintained a close relationship since the late 1990s, when doubts and suspicions of China's ambition in ASEANregion were cleared, and Mahathir and Chinese leaders found many common grounds in their authoritarian style of ruling and their opposition to Western interference in regional matters. Mahathir is keen that the rise of PRC could to some extent balance the American influence in Southeast Asia, as well as benefiting Malaysia from the PRC's economic prosperity.
Bosnia-Herzegovina, Mahathir has been noted as a particular ally and sympathetic co-religionist of that nation. He visited Sarajevoin June, 2005 to open a bridge near Bosmal City Centersignifying friendship between Malaysians and Bosnians.
He made another 3-day visit to
Visokoto see the Bosnian Pyramid of the Sun in July 2006. He made another visit a few months later.
In February 2007, four non-governmental organizations: the Sarajevo School of Science and Technology, the Congress of Bosniak Intellectuals, and two Christian organizations: the Serb Civil Council and the Croat National Council, nominated Mahatir for the 2007
Nobel Peace Prizefor his work during the conflict. [ [http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2007/2/4/nation/16782365&sec=nation "Dr M nominated for Nobel Prize"] , "The Star", 4 February 2007.]
On 22 June 2007, he made another visit to
Sarajevowith a group of Malaysian businessmen to explore the investment opportunities in the country.
fall of the Soviet Union, Malaysia had relations with the Communist state. When the Soviets invaded Afghanistan in 1979, the Malaysian government and other Islamic states sided with the Mujahideen. Since the 1990s however, relations between Russia and Malaysia have improved significantly.In 2002 Mahathir made his visit to Moscow. He made the statement that Russia can be the rival to the United States and Israel and he praised Russian President Vladimir Putin.Fact|date=April 2007
Among some developing and
Islamic countries, Mahathir is generally respected,cite news|publisher=The Star (Associated Press)|url=http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2007/1/31/nation/20070131173214&sec=nation|date=31 January 2007|accessdate=2008-01-14|title=Mahathir to launch war crimes tribunal] particularly for Malaysia's relatively high economic growth as well as for his support towards liberal Muslim values. [cite news|publisher=International Herald Tribune|url=http://www.iht.com/articles/1998/09/23/edbow.t_0.php|date=23 September 1998|author=Bowring, Philip|title=Twin Shocks Will Leave Their Mark on Malaysia|accessdate=2008-01-14] Foreign leaders, such as Kazakhstan's President Nursultan Nazarbayev, praised him and have been trying to emulate Mahathir's developmental formulae. He was one of the greatest spokesmen on Third Worldissues, and strongly supported the bridging of the North-South divide, as well as exhorting the development of Islamic nations. He was dedicated to various Third World blocs such as ASEAN, the G77, the Non-Aligned Movement, the Organization of Islamic Nations, and most recently, the G22at the latest WTOtalks at Cancún.
In 2002 a tearful [ [http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,501020701-265496,00.html "It's My Party..."] , "Time", 24 June 2002.] Mahathir announced his resignation to a surprised UMNO General Assembly. He was persuaded to stay on for a further eighteen months, in a carefully planned handover that ended in October 2003. On his retirement, he was granted Malaysia's highest honour, which entitles him to the title "Tun" from his original "Datuk Seri". Since retirement, he has been serving as an advisor to the Malaysian national oil company
Petronasand the Malaysian national car company Proton, an original core national project initiated by Mahathir during his premiership. He is also the head of the Perdana Leadership Foundation, a foundation whose aim is to preserve, develop and spread materials regarding or written by previous Malaysian Prime Ministers. While he has retired from all political offices, he remains very outspoken regarding national policies.
In 2005 Mahathir brought up the issue of excessive awarding of Approved Permits (APs) to import cars, stating that they were creating too much competition for Proton, causing friction between him and
Rafidah Aziz, the Minister for International Trade and Industry, who oversaw the awarding of APs. His successor, Abdullah, then announced that a National Automotive Policy (NAP) would be created to appropriately handle the issue. Later, when touching on the issue, Mahathir lamented the government's majority in Parliament, saying, "I believe that the country should have a strong government but not too strong. A two-thirds majority like I enjoyed when I was prime minister is sufficient but a 90% majority is too strong....We need an opposition to remind us if we are making mistakes. When you are not opposed you think everything you do is right". [ Krishnamoorthy, M. (11 December 2005) [http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2005/12/11/nation/12838957&sec=nation "Dr M: Stand up and speak out"] " The Star (Malaysia)" ]
Mahathir has also ventured into a
bakerybusiness with a Japanese partner. Together they established a Japanese-style bakery and bistro outlet called "The Loaf". As of October 2007, there are two outlets in Malaysia, one in Langkawiand one in Kuala Lumpur. They are planning expand their business into other coutries in Southeast Asia. [cite news|publisher= Kyodo News|url=http://home.kyodo.co.jp/modules/wordpress/?p=31|title=Mahathir plans to take on the world with his gourmet bread|accessdate=2008-01-25] In May 2008, Mahathir started a blog under his old pseudonym, which reached a million visitors within the span of one month. [Mahathir starts his own blog http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2008/5/2/nation/21127697&sec=nation] , The Star (Malaysia), 2 May 2008] [http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2008/5/30/nation/20080530130012&sec=nation 1 million hits for Dr M's blog in just 30 days] , Florence A. Samy, The Star (Malaysia), 2 May 2008]
Criticism of his successor
In 2006 Mahathir's relationship with his successor started to get strained. In a press conference on 7 June 2006 at the
Perdana Leadership Foundation, which he heads, Mahathir said that Abdullah Ahmad Badawiwas not his first choice as successor but it was the current Deputy Prime Minister, Najib Tun Razak, instead. He said that he felt hurt by allegations that he "finished all the government's money, and that the government was bankrupt" because of the mega-projects initiated by him during his tenure as prime minister.cite news|date= 2006-06-08|url= http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2006/6/8/nation/14473163&sec=nation&focus=1|title= Dr M slams Pak Lah but BN leaders rally behind the PM|publisher= The Star (Malaysia)] Mahathir added that he has "...a habit of choosing the wrong people" when he was answering the question whether Abdullah had stabbed him in the back. He has also criticised the present government's decision to scrap the plan to replace Malaysia's side of the Johor-Singapore Causeway. In his opinion, Malaysia does not need to seek the approval to build a bridge on its own soil. This and other such issues have led many to believe that UMNO is under the threat of splitting into Mahathir and Badawi factions. A statement was issued by UMNO to reassure the public that they wholeheartedly supported Badawi, although as of yet, no stand has been taken over the issue of Mahathir's membership in the party. Minister in the Prime Minister's Department, Nazri Aziz, suggested that Mahathir "wants to force him (Abdullah) to quit. He needs to be told he is no longer Prime Minister. His campaign is not for the sake of the country but for himself."Beech, Hannah (30 October 2006). [http://www.time.com/time/asia/covers/501061106/story.html Not the Retiring Type] (page one). "TIME".]
To make his voice heard, Mahathir decided to bid to become a delegate from Kubang Pasu for the 2006 UMNO general assembly. This move, if successful, would bring great chagrin to Abdullah who seemed to use every form of censorship available to shut Mahathir up. He failed in his bid to be elected as a representative which is surprising given the fact that Kubang Pasu is his stronghold for over three decades. [cite news|publisher=Bernama|title=Dr M Fails In Bid To Be Kubang Pasu Umno Delegate|url=http://www.bernama.com/bernama/v3/news_lite.php?id=218859|date=9 September 2006|accessdate=2008-01-15] Later, an angry Mahathir claimed that the "establishment" (in reference to the present government) were doing everything in their power including, but not limited to using government machine that is normally reserved for general elections, to ensure that he didn't get elected. Mahathir even went as far as to allege — albeit, without proof — that the interested party paid RM200 for every vote casted "against" him. Mahathir also challenged the government to throw him in jail if the government wanted him to shut his mouth. [cite news|publisher=Bernama|title=Dr M's Bribery Allegation In Kubang Pasu Polls 'Very Serious' - PM|url=http://www.bernama.com/bernama/v3/news_lite.php?id=219308|date=12 September 2006|accessdate=2008-01-15]
On, 22 October 2006, Mahathir had a private meeting with Abdullah, in which he voiced his dissatisfactions face-to-face for the first time with Abdullah. This meeting was highly anticipated by members of UMNO and other Malaysians to be an opportunity to narrow the differences between both of them.
However, Mahathir continued his criticisms of Abdullah after the meeting, saying that he was not satisfied with Abdullah's answers to his views.cite news|date=
2006-10-24|url=http://www.thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2006/10/24/nation/20061024012835&sec=nation|title= Transcript of Tun Mahathir's press conference|publisher= The Star (Malaysia)]
In a press conference after the meeting, Mahathir revealed one of his dissatisfactions; he felt that his civil liberties to voice his opinions and meeting with people were curtailed by the government. This is a quote from the press conference on this topic.
*"And I pointed out to him that firstly, this has become a police state. Because every time anybody invites me to give a talk, they would be called up by the police and warned, called up by the police and told to withdraw the invitation. Someone was not allowed to hold any meeting at all which involves me. This happened to many people. They were very shy to tell me about it but they were called up by the police and of course they were also called up by the mentri besar as well... But I consider this a police state. And I consider also that my civic right has been taken away from me because I have every right to talk to Umno people, university people, civil servants and that’s my right".cite news|date=2006-10-24|url=http://www.thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2006/10/24/nation/20061024012835&sec=nation|title=Transcript of Tun Mahathir's press conference|publisher=
The Star (Malaysia)]
Mahathir also voiced certain conducts of Abdullah and his relatives (before and after Abdullah became Prime Minister) that would amount to corruption although Mahathir did not explicitly accuse Abdullah of that. Mahathir expressed his disappointment regarding Abdullah's role in the oil-for-food programme with
Iraq; Abdullah's name was listed as a beneficiary in a report published by the US government regarding the programme. Abdullah's son-in-law, Khairy Jamaluddin, and his son had also been accused by Mahathir of offering contracts to their connections, which amounts to corruption. Mahathir had also criticised Abdullah's handling of the Approved Permits (AP) issue, expressing his surprise that Rafidah Azizwas still retained as a Cabinet member although two people on the list of persons issued with highest number of APs were linked to Rafidah.cite news|date= 2006-10-24|url=http://www.thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2006/10/24/nation/20061024012835&sec=nation|title=Transcript of Tun Mahathir's press conference|publisher= The Star (Malaysia)]
He continued his criticisms of Abdullah for being responsible for the ruling party's disastrous performance in the recent general elections. Mahathir accused Abdullah of corruption, nepotism and weakness in his administration and said they were reasons voters snubbed the UMNO-led coalition.cite news|date=06-03-2008|url=http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20080406/wl_asia_afp/malaysiapoliticsumno_080406183250|title=Malaysia's duelling leaders lock horns over poll losses |publisher=
Mahathir started to weblog since May 2008. The site is intended to publish all his writings as when he is able to pen his thoughts and opinions. [http://www.chedet.com/]
Resignation from UMNO
Mahathir announced his resignation from UMNO on 19 May 2008 (Monday) at 12.35pm before 1,000 Kedah UMNO members in
Alor Starand urged other members to follow suit as a way of pressuring Abdullah to step down. However, he resists to join any other party and would only rejoin UMNO after Abdullah steps down. His departure raises the possibility of large-scale desertions by loyalists, which could split the party and bring down the government.
His son Mukhriz, the Jerlun member of Parliament, and a contender for the UMNO youth chief post in the next party election, however stays put but nevertheless urges Abdullah to quit immediately.
Malaysia Airlineschief executive officer, Tajudin Ramli claimed that he (Tajudin) was "forced" to buy out the shares of Malaysia Airlines by Mahathir during a period when the national carrier suffered financial difficulties. However, Mahathir denied this claim and said that he only asked if Tajudin was interested in the shares. [ [http://www.agendadaily.com/cmspreview/content.jsp?id=com.tms.cms.article.Article_a12df555-3132372e-10a4a320-bda7263d Putting the lid on Pandora's box] ]
In 2006 he had a 2-hour talk with
James W. Walterand William Rodriguezwith regards to the US Government involvement in the 9/11 attacks. [ [http://www.bernama.com.my/bernama/v3/news.php?id=202973 "Group Seeks Dr Mahathir's Assistance To Reopen 9-11 Investigation"] , "Bernama", 12 June 2006. [http://www.thepowerhour.com/news2/9-11_malaysia.htm pictures] ] He urged the world's 1.3 billion Muslims to boycott Dutch products following the release of the anti-Islam movie Fitna by the Dutch politician Geert Wilders, it was reported on 30 March 2008. [ [http://edition.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/asiapcf/03/30/malaysia.fitna.ap/index.html Report: Mahathir urges Muslims to boycott Dutch products - CNN.com ] ]
On 17 January 2008, Mahathir was brought before a
Royal Commissionthat is looking into alleged manipulation of top judicial appointments during his admnistration, a scandal that has cast doubts about the independence of Malaysia's judiciary. He was made to testify before a government inquiry into a secretly recorded video clip that showed a man believed to be a prominent lawyer, V.K. Lingam, boasting that he could get key judicial appointments made with Mahathir's help. Throughout the inquiry Mahathir feign ignorance and forgot key timelines. [http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080117/ap_on_re_as/malaysia_judicial_scandal_1] The Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Lingam video clip finally found that it was former Chief Justice Tun Ahmad Fairuz Sheikh Abdul Halimwho was talking to prominent lawyer Datuk V.K. Lingamon the telephone. Sources said the five-man panel also found that the video clip was authentic and that the conversation was true in substance. They said the commission also found that it was lawyer Loh Mui Fahwho Lingam was speaking to after his telephone conversation with Fairuz. Commission chairman Tan Sri Haidar Mohamed Noorpresented a two-volume report on the findings to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidinat the Istana Negara here yesterday.cite news|date=10 May 2008|url=http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2008/5/10/nation/21213763&sec=nation|title=Panel finds Lingam video clip authentic|publisher=TheStar] The Cabinet has ordered the attorney-general to immediately direct agencies to investigate on allegations levelled against six prominent individuals identified in the Lingam video clip. The six are former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, retired chief justices Tun Mohd Eusoff Chinand Tun Ahmad Fairuz Sheikh Abdul Halim, former minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor, tycoon Tan Sri Vincent Tanand prominent lawyer Datuk V.K. Lingam.cite news|date=16 May 2008|url=http://www.nst.com.my/Friday/Frontpage/20080516170051/Article/index_html|title=Royal Commission on Lingam video clip: Cabinet orders probe on Dr M, ex-CJs|publisher=The News Straits Times]
Justice Datuk Ian Chin revealed that he received threats from a former prime minister in two cases he presided in Sibu in 1997. One being a libel suit and the other on an election petition matter.cite news|date=12 June 2008|url=http://malaysia.news.yahoo.com/bnm/20080611/tts-gerakan-judge-993ba14.html|title=JUDGE IAN CHIN'S ACTION IS COMMENDABLE, SAYS GERAKAN|publisher=Yahoo News] One was a judgment on a libel case involving MGG Pillai and Tan Sri Vincent Tan where he refused to give what he considered to be an astronomical award. The other judgment was in an election petition on Bukit Bangunan in the Sri Aman Division that he ruled in favour of Independent candidate Donald Lawan against Barisan Nasional candidate Mong Dagang. He also claimed that he and selected judges were sent to a boot camp to ensure they got the message.cite news|date=11 June 2008 |url=http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2008/6/11/nation/21512634&sec=nation|title=Justice Ian Chin tells of threats and indoctrination attempt|publisher=TheStar] However, Mahathir has sinced rebuked Justice Ian Chin's allegations in his blog. [http://www.chedet.com/2008/06/ian-chins-great-revelation.html]
A retired Federal Court judge, Tan Sri Azmi Kamaruddin has alleged that Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad had wanted to amend Article 121 of the Federal Constitution because he wanted the judiciary to be under his control. He mentioned that Dr Mahathir’s agenda was tied to the Umno 11 case involving then Umno vice-president Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah whose supporters had challenged his post as Umno president.cite news|date=21 June 2008 |url=http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2008/6/21/nation/21617618&sec=nation|title=Former judge hits out at Dr M|publisher=TheStar]
The former Prime Minister has a history of mild heart attacks. He had a coronary artery bypass in 1989. On 9 November 2006, he was admitted into "Institut Jantung Negara" (National Heart Institute) in Kuala Lumpur after suffering a mild heart attack that was caused by a
clotin his arteries and has since recovered. [ Bernama, [http://bernama.com/bernama/v3/news.php?id=228688 Mahathir Admitted To IJN For Mild Heart Attack] , 9 November 2006.] On 14 May 2007, Mahathir was admitted to the intensive care unitof a hospital in Langkawiafter suffering from breathing difficulties at 1600 (MST). The former premier's condition was reported to be stable. [ [http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_asiapacific/view/276116/1/.html Ex-Malaysian premier Mahathir hospitalised] , Channel NewsAsia, 14 May 2007]
Mahathir, 82, underwent a second
heart bypasson 4 September 2007 in a specialist cardiachospital in Kuala LumpurSunday. [cite news|url=http://in.reuters.com/article/worldNews/idINIndia-29296720070902?src=090307_0940_FEATURES_most_read_articles |publisher=Reuters|title=Malaysia ex-PM Mahathir set for heart surgery - son|accessdate=2008-01-26] He is recovering in the intensive careunit and was already conscious National Hearth Institute where he was operated by a team of surgeons, including a US specialist. [ [http://in.reuters.com/article/worldNews/idINIndia-29322120070904 Reuters, Malaysia's Mahathir recovering after heart surgery] ]
On 23 September 2007, Mahathir Mohamad, underwent further surgery at the National Heart Institute due to an infection of the surgical wound in his chest. [ [http://in.reuters.com/article/worldNews/idINIndia-29676220070923 Malaysia ex-PM Mahathir back on respirator] , but in
stable condition.] He has since come out of the hospital and appears to be healthy, even appearing in the V. K. Lingam public inquiryon 17 January 2008 as a witness. [cite news|publisher=The Associated Press|title=Mahathir Denies Judicial Corruption|date=17 January 2008|accessdate=2008-01-26|url=http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5hEUK8nfiuugXnUourQYZmxbwZtcAD8U7GNC83]
For his efforts to promote the economic development of the country, Mahathir has been granted the soubriquet of "Bapa Pemodenan" (Father of Modernisation).cite web|author=Chaudhuri, Pramitpal|url=http://www.hindustantimes.com/news/specials/leadership2006/ht_091106.shtml|title=Visionary, who nurtured an Asian ‘tiger’|work=Leadership Summit (speech)|publisher=Hindustan Times|date=17 November-18, 2006|accessdate=2008-01-15]
Since his resignation, there are signs that his influence is on the wane, notably the cancellation of a Mahathir-approved double tracking rail project on grounds of cost.
Mahathir's official residence, Sri Perdana, where he resided from 23 August 1983 to 18 October 1999, was turned into a museum (Galeria Sri Perdana). In keeping with the principle of heritage conservation, the original design and layout of the Sri Perdana has been preserved.
The Malay Dilemma" (1970) ISBN 9812043551
* "The Challenge" (1986) ISBN 9679780910
* "Regionalism, Globalism, and Spheres of Influence: ASEAN and the Challenge of Change into the 21st Century" (1989) ISBN 9813035498
* "The Pacific Rim in the 21st century" (1995)
* "The Challenges of Turmoil" (1998) ISBN 9679786528
* "The Way Forward" (1998) ISBN 0297842293
* "A New Deal for Asia" (1999)
* "Islam & The Muslim Ummah" (2001) ISBN 9679787389
* "Globalisation and the New Realities" (2002)
* "Reflections on Asia" (2002) ISBN 967978813X
* "The Malaysian Currency Crisis: How and why it Happened" (2003) ISBN 9679787567
* "Achieving True Globalization" (2004) ISBN 9679789047
* "Islam, Knowledge, and Other Affairs" (2006) ISBN 9833698034
* "Blogging the Unblock" (2008)
Notes and references
*Greider, William (1997). "One World, Ready or Not". Penguin Press. ISBN 0-7139-9211-5.
*Hong, Carolyn (31 October 2005). [http://www.malaysia-today.net/Blog-e/2005/10/mahathir-dismisses-talk-of-comeback.htm "Mahathir dismisses talk of comeback"] . "
*Kamarudin, Raja Petra (9 November 2005). [http://www.malaysia-today.net/loonyMY/2005/11/anwar-factor.htm "The Anwar Factor"] . "Malaysia Today".
*Kamaruddin, Raja Petra (4 November 2005). [http://www.malaysia-today.net/loonyMY/2005/11/true-meaning-of-political-doublespeak.htm "The true meaning of political doublespeak"] . "Malaysia Today".
* [http://www.malaysia-today.net/Blog-e/2005/10/malaysia-auto-plan-seen-as-another.htm "Malaysia auto plan seen as another wake-up call to Proton"] .
*Mydans, Seth (16 October 1997). "Malaysian Premier Sees Jews Behind Nation's Money Crisis" "
The New York Times"
*Nazri, Syed (6 November 2005). "When will Dr M tell all?" "New Sunday Times", p. 19.
*Lahiri, Imankalyan. "Mahathir's Islam: A Socio-Political Construal", "
Ekush Satak", Kolkata, 2005
* [http://www.chedet.com Dr Mahathir Mohamad's Blog (Launched May 2008)]
* [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/2059518.stm BBC Profile: Mahathir Mohamad]
* [http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/southeastasia/view/240324/1/.html Mahathir hospitalised after heart attack]
* [http://www.turkishdailynews.com/old_editions/10_30_03/feature.htm#f3 Turkish Daily News, from Mahathir's final days in office]
* [http://www.aseannewsnetwork.com/2005/04/islam-misunderstood-religion-by-dr.html Islam the Misunderstood Religion by Dr. Mahathir Mohamad]
* [http://www.perdana.org.my Perdana Leadership Foundation website on Malaysia’s past Prime Ministers.]
* [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/3198105.stm BBC News: Mahathir in his own words]
* [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P4YvF8JiA7M Dr Mahathir uses YouTube to speak out about the dangers of war]
* [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/in_depth/photo_gallery/3230431.stm BBC News: In Pictures: Mahathir steps down]
* [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/3196234.stm BBC News: Malaysia defends speech on Jews]
* [http://www.asiaweek.com/asiaweek/98/1127/nat1.html Asiaweek: Al Gore's rebuke of APEC host Mahathir]
* [http://www.garnetchaney.com/dr_mahathir_speech.shtml Text of Dr Mahathir's speech to the OIC on 16 October 2003]
* [http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2006/6/8/nation/14473163&sec=nation&focus=1 Dr M slams Pak Lah but BN leaders rally behind the PM]
NAME=Mahathir bin Mohamad
ALTERNATIVE NAMES=Dr. M (sobriquet); Mahathir Mohamad (alternate form)
Prime Minister of Malaysia
DATE OF BIRTH=20 December 1925
PLACE OF BIRTH=
Alor Star, Kedah Darul Aman, Malaysia
DATE OF DEATH=living
PLACE OF DEATH=
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Mahathir Bin Mohamad — Mahathir bin Mohamad, le 25 septembre 2003. Mahathir bin Mohamad est un homme politique malaisien né le 10 juillet 1925 à Alor Setar, capitale de l’État de Kedah, dans le nord ouest du pays. Mahatir a été le 4e premier ministre malais de 1981 à … Wikipédia en Français
Mahathir bin Mohamad — Mahathir bin Mohamad, le 25 septembre 2003. Mahathir bin Mohamad est un homme politique malaisien né le 10 juillet 1925 à Alor Setar, capitale de l’État de Kedah, dans le nord ouest du pays. Mahatir a été le 4e premier ministre malais de 1981 à … Wikipédia en Français
Mahathir bin mohamad — Mahathir bin Mohamad, le 25 septembre 2003. Mahathir bin Mohamad est un homme politique malaisien né le 10 juillet 1925 à Alor Setar, capitale de l’État de Kedah, dans le nord ouest du pays. Mahatir a été le 4e premier ministre malais de 1981 à … Wikipédia en Français
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bin — /bin/, n., v., binned, binning. n. 1. a box or enclosed place for storing grain, coal, or the like. v.t. 2. to store in a bin. [bef. 950; ME binne, OE binn(e) crib, perh. < Celt; cf. Welsh benn cart] * * * (as used in expressions) bin Laden Osama … Universalium