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History Of Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad History Essay

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Published: Mon, 5 Dec 2016


Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad, the fourth Prime Minister of Malaysia, as we know, he is the greatest Prime Minister in Malaysia during he in the position. In addition, he is a very well known political leader who served as Prime Minister of Malaysia for 21 year, this cause him become the longest-serving Prime Minister, and one of the longest leaders in Asia. In every people mind, he always had been remembered as the man behind Malaysia’s rapid modernization. It seen, he is the only prime minister who dare to be very blunt and had no fear of “rocking the boat”. All the Malaysians see him as the ultimate survivor as he has managed to remain unscathed crisis after crisis during him leadership. In this assignment, we will write about Tun Mahathir personal life and his political career in early life. We also will describe how he embarked the economic and education system. In addition, we will describe his foreign relations with other country, come to final part, which was Tun Dr Mahathir career end, his resignation and retirement.

Early Life


DATUK Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad was born on December 20 1925, in Alor Setar, Kedah in Peninsular Malaysia. He was the youngest of nine children in his family. His father, Mohamad Iskandar was the first Malay headmaster of English school in Kedah. As the headmaster, his father must have influenced Mahathir thoughts and in the future he had a strong personality. His family still review that he was very determined and always get whatever he want. Mahathir studied for two years in Malay school, after that he enrolled in Government English School. At that time, it was hard to obtain admittance into an English language school; he managed to do sufficiently well in the exam and secured a place in the Government English School (Rajendran, 1993).

Figure : Gorvernment English School

During the World War 2, Mahathir survived the Japanese Occupation when the Japanese Army occupied Malaya in 1942.

Figure : World War 2

In that time, Dr Mahathir tied first to be employed with a Chinese rubber businessman but later he started a coffee shop business with his two friends and began a acquire knowledge of operating a small business. At that moment, he not allowed selling in the Japanese canteen and he had to do his business in the local market, after that he had expanded his business. In any time, Mahathir also feel that it is important to learn the skill before embarking on any project (Rajendran, 1993). It must be emphasize that although he was treated inequality by the Japanese, but he managed to forget about this affair and later in the 1980s embarked upon a “Look East Policy for Malaysia” (Rajendran, 1993). Mahathir’s experience as a businessman gave him the opportunity to know about the real world and he realize that the Malays were backward far behind in the business arena. He experienced the weakness of the Malays as businesspeople and he felt that he can correct this weakness if only he had the opportunity.

In 1945, with the return of the British and the setting up of the Malayan Union, he began his political career.

Figure : Malayan Union

When the time in Malayan Union, the young Mahathir do not agree with the aims of the Malayan Union as he felt that British build the union was a direct threat to desire of the Malays. After that, he always attacked the Malayan Union and was a leader of most anti-Malayan Union activities. At the same time, he wrote some articles in the local English newspapers to expressing his views on political matters (Rajendran, 1993). Hr also realizes that his plan to be well received by the Malayan Union community, ha had to have an influential position in the middle of them. By the time he felt that to be an influential, he had to be either doctor or lawyer. His goal was realized when he was awarded a seat at the King Edward V11 College of Medicine in Singapore. His strive and determination helps him gained a scholarship from the Federal Government to chase him chosen field of study. : King Edward V11 College of Medicine

Mahathir finish his studies and graduate in 1953, once he graduate, he join the Malayan government service as a medical office. There is always a woman behind every successful man; Tun Dr Mahathir met his lady Dr Siti Hasmah at the medicine college and they were married on August 5 in 1956.

Figure : Mahathir and Siti Hasmah Wedding

Siti Hasmah does not know of Mahathir political desire wen she married him. One year after their marriage, Mahathir decided to leave the Government service in 1957 and build up his own private clinic in his hometown. His clinic was the first clinic in Alor Setar to be opened and operated by Malay. When free time, he often visited his patients who are poor farmers and this was one of the reason that he felt he had to do something to improve the living style of the poor Malays.

Finally he came participate in the United Malays National Organization (UMNO) and he was fondly called Dr UMNO. His involvement in UMNO was certainly because of his intentions to improve the living style of the poor Malays (Rajendran, 1993). In 1964, he stood as the prospective Member of Parliament for Kota Setar and he won the seat with a majority (Rajendran, 1993). With the victory, Dr Mahathir could now struggle to put his own idea into reality and make sure that the Malays would have a major position in a multiracial and multicultural society in Malaysia.

Figure : Tun Dr Mahathir giving some speech

Political Career

Dr Mahathir starts his career when he was elected member of the House of Representatives for Kota Setar in 1957. In the third general selection in 1964, Mahathir was selected as the Member of Parliament for Kota Setar Selatan beat the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS) candidate with a majority of 60.2%. But by the following year, he lost the seat in the general election in 1969 by mere 989 votes to PAS candidate.

Figure : Tun Mahathir Mohamad Career

After the race riots on 13 May 1969, Mahathir was discharge from the UMNO supreme council on 12 July. Following that, he widespread distribution to the public of his letter to Tunku Abdul Rahman, the first Prime Minister of Malaysia. In the letter, Mahathir had give some comment about the manner in which Tunku Abdul Rahman had handle the country’s administration which was believe to favour the ethnic Chinese (Mahathir bin Mohamad). In 1969 26 September, he relieved his party membership and resumed his medical practice. While in the political wildness, Mahathir had written a book, and the book was a famous book until now call “The Malay Dilemma”.

Figure : The Malay Dilemma

Inside the book, Mahathir had explained the causes of the 13 May incident in Kuala Lumpur and the reason why Malay lack of economic progress within their own country. He also proposed a politico-economic solution in the form of constructive protection, worked out after careful consideration of the effects of heredity and environmental factors on the Malay race. The book was published in 1970, and the book was banned by the Tunku Abdul Rahman. Although he banned the book, but some of the proposals in the book was using by Tunku Abdul Rahman and he successor in his New Economic Policy (NEP). The ban on his book was removed when he become the Prime Minister in 1981.

Figure : Mahathir become the Prime Minister

Mahathir rejoin the UMNO when he became the prime minister in 7 March 1972, and he was appointed as Senator in 1973. In 1974, Mahathir give up the senator post in order to contest in the general election where he was returned unopposed in the constituency of Kubang Pasu.

Figure : Kubang Pasu

Economic Policies

Mahathir holds the view that Malaysia economy cannot be seen to be independence and must linked with world economy. During his position in office, Mahathir turned Malaysia into a regional high technology manufacturing, financial and telecommunications core through his economic policies due to the corporate nationalism, known as the various Malaysia Plans that set by the government middle term objectives.

In the economic policies, included some project such as Perwaja Steel, try to emulate with South Korea, and Japan, The national car “Proton”, and the satellite television service call Astro.

Figure : Astro Figure : Proton Car Figure : Perwaja Steel

He is credited with leading the amazing growth of the Malaysian economy, and now become one of the largest and most powerful in South East Asia. The growth of the economic between 1988 and 1997 averaged over 10% and the living standards of Malaysia rose twentyfold, with relative poverty is almost eliminated, such as literacy and infant mortality is almost par with the developed countries, to become the country’s social indicators.

During the time, Mahathir try to carry out a variety huge construction projects such as North-South Highway, with this highway, the transportation has been cut in half the time on the West Coast of Malaysia. Besides that, Mahathir also embarked the project of Multimedia Super Corridor which designed to enable Malaysia’s foray into information technology, this project also included the new administration of Malaysia “Putrajaya”. In addition, Mahathir also develop the new airport KLCC (Kuala Lumpur International Airpot) in Sepang for replacing the old airport in Subang, besides that, the Formula One (F1) is just near by the airport.

Figure : North-South Highway Figure : Putrajaya : KLIA

In the 1997 Asian financial crisis, the IMF (International Money Fund) also provides measures for the recovery of Malaysia, but Mahathir defied international pressure, he was the Deputy Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim, the conventional wisdom and reject packet. Despite economic prosperity, it has been mixed; Mahathir said that Malaysia’s recovery is relatively faster, better, than many other affected Asian countries. Financial crisis, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank acknowledged that Mahathir’s approach had worked.

During Mahathir’s administration, there are a few speculation activities made by the administration which caused losses for Malaysia. From 1981 to 1982, Malaysia business had involved in the international tin venture. The event caused by soaring commodity prices, the collapse of the tin export markets caused. This venture cost Malaysia 80 million U.S. dollars, or a loss of 209 million ringgit.

In 1990, Bank Negara Malaysia has become involved in Pound Sterling speculation. This speculative activity had failed and cost the centre bank 4 billion USD. In 1994, the bank continued to pursue the speculation, and further loss 2.2 billion USD. Finally, in 1994, the central bank was technically bankrupt, was to bail out the Ministry of Finance.

Education System

Mahathir was appointed Minister of Education in 1974. He always believed in the “masses” educational needs, more focus on mathematics and science in high school, in order to realize his dream of developed Malaysia After being the Prime Minister, he continued to vigorously promote their quantity and quality of higher education agenda.

Before the current education system English, Chinese and Tamil schools were completely run by private and missionary organizations. The Committee consists of school and board of directors of these schools to determine their own oversea examinations for their students. For example, the Cambridge Overseas School Certificate (OSC) for the establishment of the British School. Mahathir drafted the KBSM syllabus, so that the Malay language will be a compulsory subject for all primary and secondary school in Malaysia. In time overseas examination had been completely canceled. The government school in the country had received huge funding from the government. In addition, Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) and Sijil Rendah Pelajaran (SRP) had become the official national examination of the country.

Boarding schools were built to meet the low-income indigenous population. Thousands of students were sent annually to the United States, Britain and Australia, through university scholarships by the government. Middle and high income groups of non-indigenous Malaysians in Malaysia who can’t get a place at the local university due to the quota system limitations and limited government scholarships, also independently send their children to overseas universities. Which resulted in Malaysia’s being third-largest number of students studying in western country to pursue higher education.

The introduction of quotas as part of national economic policy in 1980. Mahathir, who became Deputy Prime Minister introduced a quota system, including all Malaysia’s education system, that is a specified percentage of undergraduate seats for the Bumiputra reserved in the sectors of the economy.

Mahathir promoted the liberalization of 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) towards his later years.

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 in the year before his retirement.

Foreign Relation

Malaysia’s relations with the West generally fine despite Mahathir being known as a Mahathir outspoken critic towards them. A little more than disagreement with the British regarding about the university tuition fees sparked by Mahathir led to the boycott of all British goods which become a “buy British last” campaign. This also led to the development in Asia, especially in Japan. Although the dispute was later resolved by Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, Mahathir continued to emphasize on the Asian development model rather than the Western ones. This is his famous “Look East Policy”.

Foreign Relation with Australia

Mahathir’s relationship with Australia (the closest country in the Anglosphere to Malaysia, and the ones whose foreign policy is most concentrated in the area), his relationship between political leaders in Australia, has been difficult. The relationship between Mahathir and Australia’s leaders reached a low point in 1993 when Keating described Mahathir as “recalcitrant” not to attend APEC summit. (It is believed that Keating’s statement is spoken by the “slip of the tongue”, and his idea was “not a compromise.”)

Mahathir and other Malaysian politicians (and many other Asian leaders) also severely criticized Keating’s successor, John Howard, his view was that to encourage Pauline Hanson, it is widely considered as racism towards Asia views. Australian politicians have pointed out Mahathir’s farcical trial of Anwar Ibrahim, saying that the prosecution was using homophobic overtones.

Mahathir emphasized on the importance of a country’s right to do whatever they want within their borders, which he called “sovereignty.” This is to clarify the policy of non-interference in ASEAN. 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”.

Mahathir also made remarks tot the effect that John Howard has been trying to be America’s “Deputy Sheriff” in the pacific region. This is a response to John Howard’s statement that they will pursue terrorists over the borders of its neighboring countries.

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.

Middle East and Criticism of Jewish Power

Malaysia is a firm supporter of the Palestinian cause, and the establishment of diplomatic relations between the Palestine Liberation Organization, under Mahathir. A major diplomatic row erupted with neighboring Singapore, Chaim Herzog, Israeli President, paid a state visit in 1986.

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.

He attributed the collapse of the Malaysian ringgit to a conspiracy of Jews against a prosperous Muslim state in 1997, during the financial crisis: “The Jews robbed the Palestinians of everything, but in Malaysia they could not do so, hence they do this, depress the ringgit.” he issued a partial retraction, but not in Malay language media sources under strong international criticism.

Shortly before he stepped down as prime minister, Mahathir said during a summit for the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) in Putrajaya, that: “We [Muslims] are actually very strong, 1.3 billion people cannot be simply wiped out on 16 October 2003. The Nazis killed 6 million Jews out of 12 million [during the Holocaust]. But today the Jews rule the world by proxy. They get others to fight and die for them. They invented socialism, communism, human rights and democracy so that persecuting them would appear to be wrong so they may enjoy equal rights with others. With these they have now gained control of the most powerful countries. And they, this tiny community, have become a world power.”

He also named Israel’s “enemy allied with most powerful country.” Israel strongly criticized the remarks. This speech was also condemned by majority of the countries from the West. Speaking on behalf of the European Union, Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini said that 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 a number of Muslim leaders and politicians, including the Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Maher and Afghan President Hamid Karzai. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Bush’s views into account as “reprehensible and hateful.” Muslim Public Affairs Council condemned Mahathir’s words as “extremely offensive and anti-Semitic” Malaysian Prime Minister’s speech were also condemned by the Jewish organizations and Israeli governments.

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.”

Foreign Relation with Singapore

Mahathir is a former student of the Medical College at the University of Malaya at that time located in Singapore under British Malaya. University of Malaya campus at Singapore has been renamed National University of Singapore while the campus at Kuala Lumpur remains as 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 college, and often attends reunions.

However, the relationship between Singapore and Mahathir has been in conflict. Many controversial issues regarding his political issues have not been solved, in fact, the issues are considered unrealistic. Many of these international issues have been made up during Mahathir’s Premiership term, but no significant actions have been made to resolve them bilateral. 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 bridge to improve water flow through the Straits of Johor later cancelled by Mahathir’s successor, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

Singapore’s land reclamation work, affecting shipping access to Port Tanjung Pelepas.

The use of Malaysian airspace by Republic of Singapore Air Force jets

The status of Pedra Branca Island also known as “Pulau Batu Putih”, was brought to the International Court of Justice and now belongs to Singapore

The sovereignty of the railway line crossing Singapore and Points of Agreement regarding the matter.

The two sides had stubbornly refused to compromise, with the results of bilateral relations turned hostile. 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 intransigence attitude. According to Prime Minister Abdullah’s policy is to give in to almost every request, relations began to thaw, and the relationship between 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; the relationship between the two sides has not been affected.


Malaysian 76-year-old Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad’s June 22 resignation announcement on national television came as a shock not just to the nation, but even to Mahathir’s closest party and family members. 15 September 1978 Mahathir become Deputy prime minister of Malaysia. 16 July 1981 Mahathir become Prime minister of Malaysia. On 25 July 2002, he was immediately resigning all his party and government positions, ending 21 years in office. The UMNO announced that Asia’s longest-serving leader was indeed giving up the helm. UMNO revealed a plan in which Mahathir would continue as government leader until Malaysia hosted the Organization of Islamic conference summit scheduled for 24-25 October 2003. This concession gives Deputy Prime minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, a 16-month transition period. However he rejects to join any party and only will rejoin UMNO after Abdullah Badawi Step down. Mahathir rejoin the UMNO after Abdullah Badawi step down in 2009.


After Tun Hussein Onn was stepping down with cause of health reasons, Tun Dr. Mahathir bin Mohamad was became the forth prime minister of Malaysia on 16July 1981. (Tye, 2003-2010) He served for 22 years in office, retiring on 31 October, 2003.

During the Dr Mahathir’s long years of leadership, he has received numerous awards of achievement as shown in the table below:






Seri Maharaja Mangku Negara




Darjah Kerabat Yang Amat Dihormati Selangor




Darjah Satria Bintang Sarawak

Sarawak, Malaysia



The Most Honourable Order Of The Royal Family Of Kedah

Kedah, Malaysia



The Most Esteemed Order Of The Royal Family Of Kelantan

Kelantan, Malaysia


Tuanku Syed Putra Of Perlis Royal Outstanding Award

Perlis, Malaysia



Knight Commander Of The Sultan Ahmad Shah

Pahang, Malaysia


Fellowship of The International College of Surgeons



Anugerah Cemerlang

Perlis, Malaysia



The Most Esteemed Order Of The Royal Family Of Tuanku Syed Putra

Perlis, Malaysia


Wira Keadilan

Pasir Mas Foundation


Melaka Historical City’s Honorary Citizen Award



Wira Nusa Raya

UMNO, Sabah



The Most Esteemed Order Of The Royal Family Of Johor

Johor, Malaysia



Kedah Order Of Merit

Kedah, Malaysia


‘FAR’, Father of Modern Development By the Pasir Salak UMNO Division

Pasir Salak



Sultan Ibrahim Medal I

Johor, Malaysia



Knight Grand Commander Of The Most Honourable Order Of Melaka

Melaka, Malaysia



Seri Setia Sultan Mahmud Terengganu




The Most Esteemed Order Of The Royal Family Of Negeri Sembilan

Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia



Knight Grand Commander Of The Most Honourable Order Of Pulau Pinang

Pulau Pinang, Malaysia



Knight Commander Of The Most Honourable Order Of Negeri Sembilan

Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia



Seri Panglima Darjah Kinabalu

Sabah, Malaysia



Seri Paduka Cura Si Manja Kini

Perak, Malaysia



Dato Patinggi Bintang Kenyalang

Sarawak, Malaysia



Dato’ Seri Paduka Mahkota Johor

Johor, Malaysia



Seri Paduka Mahkota Selangor

Selangor, Malaysia



Seri Setia DiRaja Kedah, Kedah

Kedah, Malaysia



Pahang, Malaysia


The Second Tun(Dr) Ismail Oration Academy of Medical



Pingat Perak

Perak, Malaysia

(Engol, 2009)

In year 2002, he has announced to resignation to a surprised UMNO General Assembly. (Mahathir Mohamad – Definition, 2010) A shortly before leaving office in this 8 month, he has solve the violent of the controversy argument when he called on Muslim leaders at 57-member Organization of the Islamic Conference(OIC) summit to “fight back against their Jewish oppressors” who “ruled the world by proxy”. (Mahathir Mohamad – Definition, 2010) Mahathir was explanation in widely the criticized in the West, but this issue was ignored in Asia and Islamic countries, which felt that his remark had been taken out of context. (Mahathir Mohamad – Definition, 2010) After that, Mahathir was protect against the attack on his remarks, saying “I am not an anti-Semitic … I am against those Jews who kill Muslims and the Jews who support the killers of Muslim.” (Mahathir Mohamad – Definition, 2010) He was tagged the West as “anti-Muslim”, for doubles standards by “protecting Jews while allowing others to insult Islam.” (Mahathir Mohamad – Definition, 2010) Then when Mahathir was retirement, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi was succeeding to become the fifth prime minister of Malaysia. (Engol, 2009)

(Engol, 2009)=

(Mahathir Mohamad – Definition, 2010)=

(Tye, 2003-2010)=


The Malay Dilemma

Not all historians will agree with Dr. Mahathir’s interpretation of events, historic and recent, in Malaysia and Singapore. This is certain to be a controversial book, and assuredly the author will be called upon to defend many of his statements and claims, indeed even perhaps the accuracy of his historical and biological data. This is not an objective work.

Nevertheless, it is published because this is what educated, modern progressive Malay thinks and believe. These are his reaction to the problems of the day, the pressing problems that beset Malaysia. This is how politically-Inclined Malay understands the past, explains the behavior of his own people and the behavior of immigrants, and foresees the future.

In the past it has been difficult to know just what Malay does think. As Dr Mahathir has explained, Malays tend to shield friends, and enemies. From embarrassment and in consequence often conceal their true thoughts. Here, for the first time, Malay has produced a book-length argument told with stark frankness. Dr Mahathir has examined and analyzed the make-up of Malay. His heredity, his way of life, his religion. He has revealed all. He believes this is necessary not only to encourage the Malay to know himself, but also that the non-Malay can the entire better understand the Malay’s reactions to the problems of the day.

Globalization and Developing Countries


By Mahathir bin Mohamad | Thursday, October 10, 2002


Globalization can be a trap for developing nations. They should make every effort to retain control of their own fates, argues Dr. Mahathir bin Mohamad, Prime Minister of Malaysia, in this essay adapted from “Recreating Asia: Visions for a New Century,” edited by Frank-Jürgen Richter and Pamela Mar.

he concept of “globalization” is deceptively simple. The free market must be allowed to function without interference. Governments m

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