Skip to Content

Mahathir Mohamad Fast Facts

CNN Editorial Research

Here is a look at Mahathir Mohamad, former prime minister of Malaysia.


Birth date: July 10, 1925 (officially recorded as December 20, 1925)

Birth place: Alor Setar, Kedah

Father: Mohamad Iskandar, an Indian Muslim and a teacher in Northern Malaysia

Marriage: Siti Hasmah Ali (1956)

Children: Marina, Mirzan, Melinda, Mokhzani, Mukhriz, Maizura and Mazhar

Education: Entered the King Edward VII College of Medicine in Singapore in 1947

Religion: Islam

Other Facts

He became the oldest world leader at 92 when he was sworn into office as prime minister of Malaysia in 2018, a decade-and-a-half after retirement. Mahathir was also prime minister of Malaysia from July 1981 to October 2003.

Is a physician, and one of his nicknames is Dr. M.

After losing his first seat in parliament, wrote a book called “The Malay Dilemma.” The book contained racist stereotypes but helped establish Mahathir as an advocate for Malay rights.

Credited with turning Malaysia into a major trading and economic force in southeast Asia.


1946 Joins the United Malays National Organization (UMNO).

1964Is elected to Parliament for the first time.

1969 – Loses his seat in Parliament and is expelled from the UMNO.

1972 – Returns to the UMNO.

1973 Is appointed a Senator in the Malaysian parliament.

1974 – Is elected as minister of education.

1976 Becomes deputy prime minister.

July 1981 – Becomes Malaysia’s fourth prime minister, minister of home affairs, and minister of justice.

January 1989 Has heart bypass surgery.

1998 Dismisses his deputy Anwar Ibrahim and accuses him of sodomy and corruption.

June 2002 Announces his resignation.

October 16, 2003 At a 57-nation Islamic summit in Malaysia, Mahathir claims in a speech that Jews “rule the world by proxy. They get others to fight and die for them.”

October 31, 2003 – Mahathir retires and passes leadership to his deputy, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

September 2007 – Has heart bypass surgery following two heart attacks within 10 months.

May 16, 2008 The Malaysian government announces it has begun an investigation into corruption by the Mahathir administration in the 1980s and 1990s.

May 19, 2008 Mahathir resigns from the United Malays National Organization, the ruling party of Malaysia.

December 1, 2013 – Steps down as an adviser to oil and gas company Petronas, due to ill health.

March 30, 2016 – Resigns as chairman of the board from Malaysian automaker Proton Holdings after serving more than two years. Proton is Malaysia’s leading auto manufacturer and was founded by Mahathir in 1983 as the sole National auto company.

January 2018 – Mahathir is named a candidate for prime minister. He says the country is being hampered by Prime Minister Najib Razak and that the opposition parties need him because they “have not been able to get rural Malay votes.”

May 9, 2018 – Mahathir’s coalition wins 121 seats in the country’s parliament, enough to form a simple majority and take control of the House. Voter turnout is over 76% according to the Malaysia’s Election Commission.

May 10, 2018 – Is sworn into office as prime minister by Malaysia’s constitutional ruler, King Muhammad V.

February 24, 2020 – Mahathir’s office announces his submission of resignation as prime minister of Malaysia.

™ & © 2021 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.

CNN Newsource


Leave a Reply

Skip to content