“Malaysians have all sorts of emotions when it comes to Tun Dr Mahathir,You just have to say his name, and you get all sorts of reactions…” by Lina Tan (Editor and Producer of Mahathir, on the History Channel (Astro Channel 555)
Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad is a prominent politician, statesman and a leader of international stature, well-known for his constructive and, at times controversial ideas and firm in propagating his opinions and thoughts.
Mahathir bin Mohamad became the fourth Prime Minister of Malaysia on July 16, 1981 and served for 22 years until he finally relinquished his post on 31st October 2003 to Deputy Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. He is until now the longest serving Prime Minister of Malaysia. To Malaysians, he is commonly known as Dr. M or Mahathir.
He was born on 20th December, 1925 in Seberang Perak, Alor Setar, the capital of the northern state of Kedah, Mahathir said in his autobiography that he had Indian ancestry (from his father), with its origins tracing back to Kerala in India, while his mother was a Kedah-born Malay. Mahathir, however, considers himself to be”full Malay", in line with Article 160 of the Constitution. Under Article 153 of the Constitution, Malays are granted particular rights not available to other citizens.
His father’s name is Mohamad bin Iskandar, and Mahathir is the youngest child from nine children. His father is a school teacher; the first malay headmaster in an English school, and Wan Tampawan who is Mahathir’s mother is a housewife.