Mahathir bin Mohamad

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Mahathir bin Mohamad

(mähä`tĭr bĭn mōhäm`äd), 1925–, Malaysian political leader. A doctor by training, he first entered parliament in 1964 and rose in the United Malays National Organization (UMNO), but lost his seat and was expelled from UMNO in 1969 after criticizing Prime Minister Tunku Abdul RahmanAbdul Rahman, Tunku,
, 1903–90, Malaysian political leader. A prince (tunku), he was the fifth son of Sultan Abdul Halim Shah of Kedah and was educated in England at Cambridge. Abdul Rahman entered the Kedah state civil service in 1931.
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. Subsequently readmitted into UMNO, he was reelected to parliament in 1974 and held several ministerial posts in the 1970s, including deputy prime minister beginning in 1976. Prime minister of the UMNO-led National Front coalition government after 1981, Mahathir sought to make Malaysia an industrial nation and develop Malay businesses, and promoted nonindividualistic "Asian values" while often denouncing the West. Although Malaysia made enormous and rapid economic progress under Mahathir, political stability was maintained by not tolerating dissent and restricting political freedoms, and his government was denounced for human-rights abuses. He retired as prime minister in 2003 and was succeeded by Abdullah Ahmad BadawiAbdullah Ahmad Badawi
, 1939–, Malaysian government official and politician. A graduate of the Univ. of Malaya (B.A. 1964) and the son of a prominent politician, he held a series of civil service posts, including deputy secretary general (1974–78) in the ministry of
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. Out of office he has continued to be outspoken and has been critical of the Malaysian government. In 2008–9 he resigned from the UMNO in protest against his successor's leadership, and he resigned again in 2016 in protest against the party's support for Najib RazakNajib Razak
or Najib Tun Razak
, 1958–, Malaysian politician. A Malay, he is a member of a prominent political family, the son of Malaysia's second prime minister, Abdul Razak, and the nephew of its third, Hussein Onn.
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. Mahathir defended his record in his 2011 memoir, A Doctor in the House.

Bibliography

See biography by B. Wain (2010); study by I. Stewart (2003).

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