35 facts about Dr M that you need to know
1. Tun Dr Mahathir bin Mohamed’s real name is Mahathir s/o Iskandar Kutty. He was born Mahathir s/o Iskandar Kutty and named Mahathir s/o Iskandar Kutty @Mahathir Mohamed.
2. Dr Mahathir was born on December 20, 1925, in Alor Star, the capital of the northern state of Kedah.
3. Dr Mahathir started life NOT as a Malay but a Malayali – (Mamak) the people of Kerala in south INDIA, where his father (Iskandar Kutty) came from.
4. His father (Iskandar Kutty) was a school teacher of Indian origin, specifically Malayalee (Mamak) (people who speak Malayalam, not to be confused with Malay)
5. His father (Iskandar Kutty) (a Mamak) migrated from the southern state of Kerala, India, while his mother (Wan Tampawan) a Kedah-born, was a Malay.
6. Despite being only half Malay and having acknowledged his Indian heritage, Dr Mahathir generally considers himself to be Malay, and is known for the use of fiery rhetoric designed to invoke feelings of Malay nationalism, i.e. the term Ketuanan Melayu, or “Malay Supremacy/Lordship.
7. At university in Singapore, Dr Mahathir was listed as an INDIAN.
8. Dr Mahathir had kept hidden his little secret – that he is an Indian Muslim (Mamak).
9. Dr Mahathir has been quick to promote himself as the embodiment of “Asian” identity and values, with diatribes against the west, usually couched in racial terms. Yet, despite his trumpeting of Asian identity, Dr Mahathir appears ASHAMED to admit his Indian heritage.
10. ‘In his new book, A New Deal for Asia, he writes about his father in such a way as to imply that he was a Malay dedicated to the improvement of his fellow Malays rather than the hard-working Indian immigrant and government servant that he was. No mention of Dr Mahathir’s Indian Muslim background ever appears in the media. The subject is taboo.’ -Philip Bowring
11. Dr Mahathir is the fourth Prime Minister of Malaysia, which he held for 22 years. From 16 July 1981 – 31 October 2003
12. Dr Mahathir is Malaysia and Asia’s longest serving Prime Minister.
13. Dr Mahathir’s political involvement is filled with events and significance where he started being active in 1945. He joined the Umno in 1946.
15. Following the race riots of 13 May 1969, Dr Mahathir wrote a letter, (which was widely distributed) to the then Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman, criticizing the manner in which Tunku Abdul Rahman had handled the country’s administration favoring the ethnic Chinese. For doing that, he was expelled from Umno.
16. Some of the more controversial happenings under Dr Mahathir‘s leadership include removing of the veto power and the Royal immunity from prosecution. Before he took on this action, passing of any bill of law required royal consent but with what he took on, royal assent is considered legal after a 30 days period.
17. Dr Mahathir was also known to be responsible for the removal of Tun Salleh Abas, the Lord President of the Supreme Court together with 3 other Supreme Court Justices prior to the investigation of misconduct hearing of Umno, the party that he is also the president.
18. Dr Mahathir announced his resignation from UMNO on 19 May 2008.
19. For his efforts to promote the economic development of the country, Dr Mahathir has been granted the soubriquet of Bapa Pemodenan (Father of Modernization)
20. Dr 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).
21. During his administration, Dr Mahathir was considered to be one of Asia’s most influential leaders. He is also noted in the Western world as an outspoken critic of Western-style
22. Mahathirism is a pejorative term used by Malaysians to describe the policies and methods used by Dr Mahathir to maintain his political power. Mahathirism has been critically defined as a “Machiavellian ploy to exploit race and religion for financial gain and power.”
23. During this period, Dr Mahathir embarked on various large scale national projects, such as:
i. The North-South Highway, which has cut transport times in half on the west coast of Malaysia;
ii. The Multimedia Super Corridor, a flagship project based on Silicon Valley designed to enable Malaysia’s foray into Information Technology (it includes Malaysia’s new administrative capital Putrajaya,
iii. Port of Tanjung Pelepas
iv. The glittering Kuala Lumpur Internatinal Airport (KLIA) in Sepang, and an adjacent Formula One circuit;
v. The Bakun Dam, meant to supply all of the electricity needs of the East Malaysian states of Sabah and Sarawak and which has enough capacity to enable exportation of power to Brunei. The project has since run into various difficulties and controversies, leading to at first, its cancellation and then its revival as a greatly scaled down project.
vi. Olympic-class stadium in Bukit Jalil; and
vii. The Petronas Twin Towers, the tallest twin towers in the world, and the world’s tallest building from 1997 to 2003, that have become symbolic of modern Malaysia.
24. In May 2008, Dr Mahathir started a blog under his old pseudonym ‘Che Det’, which reached a million visitors within the span of one month, and nearing 20 million hits just a bit over a year after his first posting.
25. Dr Mahathir has also ventured into a bakery business 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 Langkawi and one in Kuala Lumpur.
26. In 1997, the Chairman of the King Faisal International Prize Committee Prince Khaled Al-Faisal presented the King Faisal International Prize for service to Islam was awarded to Dr. Mahathir for his distinguished services to Muslims all over the world as well as in his own country.
27. In 2007, Banda Aceh – Syiah Kuala (Unsyiah) University awarded an honorary doctorate to Dr. Mahathir for his leadership and economic development concept.
28. In 1998, the World Information Technology and Services Alliance (WITSA) awarded the ASOCIO IT Award 1998 to Dr. Mahathir, marking the first time this award was bestowed upon a Prime Minister of any country. Dr. Mahathir was given the award in recognition of his “significant contribution” to the development of the IT industry in Malaysia as well as through the Multimedia Super Corridor initiative.
29. The International Medical University (IMU) bestowed an on Dr Mahathir on 19 August 2009 at the university’s campus in Bukit Jalil. This award was given in recognition of his enormous and invaluable contribution to the country.
30. Dr Mahathir was awarded the inaugural BrandLaureate Hall of Fame Award 2008 for his efforts in putting the country on the world map.
31. Dr Mahathir was conferred an Honorary Doctorate of Humanity by Lim Kok Wing University in 2009.
32. In 2003, President Vladimir Putin of Russia bestowed the “Orden Drusby” (Order of Friendship), the highest state award of Russia, on Dr Mahathir for his effort in strengthening bilateral relations.
33. Dr Mahathir’s book Selected Letters to World Leaders was voted the most popular book under the non-fiction category in the Popular-The Star Readers’ Choice Awards
34. Dr Mahathir was conferred “Tokoh Takaful Award” at the Malaysian Takaful Association inaugural Dinner and Awards Nite 2009 in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the takaful industry
35. Books by Tun Dr Mahathir
i. The Malay Dilemma (1970)
ii. The Challenge, (1986)
iii. Regionalism, Globalism, and Spheres of Influence: ASEAN and the Challenge of Change into the 21st Century (1989
iv. The Pacific Rim in the 21st century, (1995)
v. The Challenges of Turmoil, (1998)
vi. The Way Forward, (1998)
vii. A New Deal for Asia, (1999)
viii. Islam & The Muslim Ummah, (2001)
ix. Globalisation and the New Realities (2002)
x. Reflections on Asia, (2002
xi. The Malaysian Currency Crisis: How and why it Happened,(2003)
xii. Achieving True Globalization, (2004)
xiii. Islam, Knowledge, and Other Affairs, (2006)
xiv. Principles of Public Administration: An Introduction, (2007)
xv. Chedet.com Blog Merentasi Halangan (Bilingual), (2008)
“MAMAK” a term (derived from a TAMIL word meaning UNCLE) used in Malaysia to describe the Tamil Muslim community (Wikipedia)