Mahathir Mohamad
Prime Minister of Malaysia
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Mahathir Mohamad
Prime Minister of Malaysia

Dr Mahathir Mohamad is the current Prime Minister of Malaysia, serving in this position for the second time. He first served as Prime Minister from 1981-2003. At 94 years old, he is the world’s oldest sitting head of government.

Birth: 10 July 1925 (Age: 95)

Source of Influence: Political

Influence: Political

School of Thought: Sunni

Status: Featured in current year

Influence

Prime Minister: He was the key figure behind the transition of Malaysia’s economy from being agricultural-based into a newly industrialized market economy. He is noted for his support for liberal Muslim values and has established Islamic institutions such as the International Islamic University of Malaysia.

Determined winner: Mahathir is a dominant political figure. In his first tenure as Prime Minister he won five consecutive general elections as well as seeing off party rivals to the leadership. Even when retired from politics he established the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Commission to focus on victims of abuse in Iraq, Lebanon, and the Palestinian Territories. In May 2012, George W Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, and their legal advisers were found guilty of war crimes.

Criticisms: Mahathir has been criticised for his record on civil liberties and for the trials and tribulations that his former Deputy Prime Minister, Anwar Ibrahim, endured after being sacked by Mahathir in 1998.

Miraculous Victory of 2018: Mahathir registered a new political party in 2017 and joined the coalition Pakatan Harapan (Pact of Hope) which went on to win the 2018 elections with Mahathir becoming prime minister. This was part of an understanding that if successful, Mahathir would pardon Anwar Ibrahim (who was in prison at the time) and step down from the role to allow Ibrahim to take over. Ibrahim was given a full royal pardon and Mahathir is expected to step down sometime in 2020.