94 facts about Mahathir who just turned 94
More than what you can Wikipedia about him.
Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir is 94.
He was born at a time before television was even invented.
However, he is still very relevant to the world now as the top guy of Malaysia — at a time when traditional television is dying out.
If you do not really know Mahathir, here are 94 random facts about him.
94 random facts about Mahathir
1. He was born on July 10, 1925. Television was invented two years later in 1927.
2. His mother is the most influential person in his life who taught him how to do things and behave, he said.
3. Doing everything in moderation is his secret to longevity.
4. His birthplace was Kampung Seberang Perak, Alor Setar, Kedah.
5. Nelson Mandela and Peter the Great of Russia are the world leaders that inspired him the most.
6. His favourite local singer is Siti Nurhaliza.
7. He is the youngest of nine siblings.
8. Japan is his favourite country that he has visited.
9. His horoscope is Cancer.
10. He prefers coffee to tea.
11. His father, Mohamad Iskandar was of mixed Malay and Indian descent and his mother, Wan Tempawan, was Malay.
12. His father was a headmaster at a government English school which he attended.
13. He was Malaysia’s fourth prime minister in 1981 but retired in 2003.
14. He married Siti Hasmah Mohamad Ali on Aug. 5, 1956.
15. His 94th birthday wish was to finish his work to set Malaysia on the road to recovery.
16. He studied medicine at King Edward VII College of Medicine in Singapore in 1947.
17. He met his wife in Singapore who also studied medicine.
18. Mahathir won his wife’s heart by helping her with her studies but it was not love at first sight.
19. Proton cars were founded by Mahathir in 1983.
20. He has made a comeback in politics as Malaysia’s seventh prime minister in 2018.
21. He sold coffee and snacks like goreng pisang (banana fritters) during Japanese Occupation when schools were closed.
22. He is the oldest living prime minister.
23. He survived a heart attack in 1989. Lee Kuan Yew called his wife to offer the best heart surgeon but he was already getting ready for an open heart surgery the next day.
24. His wife gave birth to two girls and two boys — Marina, Mirzan, Mokhzani and Mukhriz.
25. The couple adopted three children too — Melinda, Mazhar and Maizura.
26. The secret to the couple’s loving relationship is said to be love and trust.
27. At college, he used to contribute to The Straits Times under the pseudonym “C.H.E. Det”. “Det” is his family nickname. Check out his blog here.
1 year ago ✌🏻 pic.twitter.com/L41vJiYF6m
— Dr Mahathir Mohamad (@chedetofficial) September 27, 2017
28. He enjoys reading, writing and some exercise in his free time.
29. He was named as one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2019.
30. Mahathir’s birth certificate states Dec. 20 as his birthday, but that was an arbitrary date that his father selected for official documents.
31. He was a mentor to both Najib Razak and Anwar Ibrahim.
32. He is known as Malaysia’s “Father of Modernisation”.
33. During his first term, he built a North-South Expressway that runs from Thailand to Singapore.
34. In 1987, he instituted the Internal Security Act in 1987, which he subsequently used to shut down four newspapers and arrested over 106 activists, religious leaders and political opponents, including Anwar Ibrahim.
35. During his term, Petronas Twin Towers were built. They are still the tallest twin towers in the world.
36. He was Malaysia’s Minister of Education in 1974. That year he stopped practising medicine.
37. He was Malaysia’s Minister of Trade and Industry in 1978.
38. He was Malaysia’s Deputy Prime Minister in 1976.
39. He was Malaysia’s Minister of Finance in 2001.
40. He was Malaysia’s Minister of Defence in 1981.
41. He was Malaysia’s Minister of Home Affairs in 1986.
42. He does not smoke or drink.
Yes, he took up many political portfolios.
43. He shares the same birthday as Nikola Tesla, Harper Beckham, Gong Yoo, Jessica Simpson and Senior Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs & Ministry of National Development, Sun Xue Ling.
Happy belated birthday, Sun Xue Ling.
44. He is also the first Malaysian Prime Minister to have served under two different parties.
45. He was the President of United Malays National Organization (Umno) from 1981 to 2003.
46. He has been the Chairman of Pakatan Harapan coalition since 2017.
47. When he first retired in 2003, Mahathir was named a Grand Commander of the Order of the Defender of the Realm, which granted him the title “Tun”.
48. He resigned from Umno, the ruling party of Malaysia on May 19, 2008.
49. Mahathir joined Umno in 1946 and was elected to Parliament in 1964.
50. Even at old age, he goes on movie dates with his wife.
Hope he still has time for that.
51. He uses an iPhone 7 plus.
52. He does not remember his birthday but his wife always does.
53. His favourite Marvel character is Thor, although it was mistaken as Thanos before.
54. He had a dish of glutinous rice and meat rendang on his 93th birthday last year.
55. He works harder than before. He used to work from 8am to 5pm, but he now works till 6pm daily.
56. He is attending Singapore’s National Day Parade 2019, along with Brunei’s Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, Indonesian President Joko Widodo.
57. His 80th birthday wish was to “still be around” and he prayed for Malaysia to continue to prosper.
58. He does not like to eat fish, as influenced by his mum.
59. He received a Proton car-shaped cake on 94th birthday this year.
60. His favourite pen is Pilot Ball Liner in black.
61. He knew he had to sign many documents so he decided to have a short signature.
62. Nehru jacket is his fashion trademark.
63. He dismissed Anwar Ibrahim who was his deputy prime minister in 1998, and accused him of sodomy and corruption.
64. He was expelled from Umno after the 1969 riots and rejoined to the party in 1972.
65. He quit Umno again in 2008 and rejoined in 2009 after Najib became prime minister.
66. Then he quit Umno in 2016 because of Najib.
67. He wears Bata sandals.
68. His wife is 93 years old and her birthday is July 12, just two days later.
69. He said in an interview that his biggest failure was not being able to change the character of the Malays and their value system.
70. He proposed to bring Singapore and Malaysia time half an hour earlier, which Lee Kuan Yew agreed to.
One of the rare times they agreed with each other.
71. He is anti-LGBT.
72. His children call him “daddy” because he was married during British times and it was fashionable to be called “daddy” and “mummy”.
73. His favourite song is My Way or Torna a Surriento.
Hear him sing My Way here:
74. He likes to read history books or detective stories like Sherlock Holmes.
75. His birthday wish at 77 was for Malaysia to be peaceful and prosperous. Pretty much the same wish every year.
76. He has 15 grandchildren.
77. His granddaughter Ineza Roussille, made a documentary called M For Malaysia. It was about the 14th General Election, which Mahathir won and became the Prime Minister again.
M For Malaysia can also mean, “Mahathir for Malaysia”. Clever pun.
Here’s the trailer:
78. He takes 15-minute power naps.
79. He can dance ronggeng, a Javanese dance.
80. He does not play golf because it takes up too much time.
81. His favourite authors are Wilbur Smith, Dick Francis, and Ken Follett.
82. His fifth child, Mukhriz Mahathir, 58, is also a politician. He is currently the Chief Minister of the State of Kedah.
83. Of all children, Mukhriz is the only one involved in politics.
84. Mukhriz used to be a director at a company that makes TV shows set up by Benedict Cumberbatch, who cut business ties with him over Mahathir’s anti-semitic remarks.
85. His eldest daughter, Marina Mahathir, 62, is a socio-political activist who campaigns actively for women’s rights and those with Aids.
86. Marina was one of the eight Malaysians who was conferred the Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur by the French government for her social causes.
87. Before entering politics, he set up his own clinic in Alor Setar, his birthplace, in 1957. His clinic was called “Maha Clinic” and it was the first Malay-owned private clinic in Malaysia.
88. He has one great-granddaughter.
89. He was named the 47th greatest leader in the world by Fortune magazine.
90. He had a heart bypass surgery in 2007 after two heart attacks in 10 months.
91. He was conferred the Honorary Doctor of Philosophy in Laws from the National University of Singapore in 2018.
92. Mahathir is known for his hard-hitting views. You probably know.
93. He enjoys horse-riding.
94. He said a leader should be well-aware of both domestic issues in the country and developments in the world.
That’s all. Happy birthday again, Mahathir.
Top photo collage from Mahathir’s Facebook and Marina Mahathir’s Facebook