As an initiator of sweeping reforms, Dr Mahathir bin Mohamad stands head and shoulders above his predecessors. The winds of change brought about by this tough leader have touched every aspect of Malaysian life, economic, social, political and cultural.
Born in Alor Star on 20th December 1925, Dr Mahathir received is early education in Maktab Sultan Abdul Hamid. After completing his secondary education, he took up medicine at the King Edward VII College of Medicine in the University of Singapore and graduated with an MBBS degree in medicine. Even in his student days, Dr Mahathir was an active UMNO member.
In 1964, he became the Member of Parliament for Alor Star and this marked his entry into the political arena. He held a member of portfolios before becoming the Prime Minister. Among them were his appointment as the Minister of Education and as the Minister of Trade and Industry. After a short period as the Deputy Prime Minister, he finally took over the reins of the government on 16th July 1981.
During his contract as the premier, the country has undergone a complete transformation. Upon taking office as Prime Minister, he restored the whole political machinery to make it more dynamic and effective. The most notable achievement in the political arena is the corporatization of government agencies to cut the government’s operation costs and to generate more revenue.
Among the many policies he has introduced is the Look East Policy, where Malaysian were urged to emulate the work ethics of the success oriented Japanese and Koreans. A realistic leader, Dr Mahathir imagined that Malaysia could attain the status of a developed nation only if there was a switch from the agriculture-based economy to an industrial one. In 1991, he announced his most ambitious vision, the Vision 2020 as a roadmap to a fully developed country.
The Mahathir era is marked with numerous notable achievements. The introduction of the country’s... [continues]
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