Mahathir Mohamad

SMU - HO RIH HWA LEADERSHIP IN ASIA PUBLIC LECTURE SERIES
Mahathir Mohamad

Asian Leadership

11 October 2004

When Governments are weak, even good leaders cannot
produce results.

In his first public address since stepping down as Malaysian Prime Minister, Dr Mahathir Mohamad shared a withering view of Asian governments, chastising the leaders for losing their self-respect by conforming and kowtowing to the West. Asian leaders need to recognize that although democracy is still the best form of government, there is no guarantee that it will throw up good leaders. He believed that Asians are waiting for a credible leader from a credible nation, after a long period of physical and mental colonization.

View Dr. Mahathir Mohamad's Speech

Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad

is the former Prime Minister of Malaysia (1981 – 2003). He is credited with turning Malaysia from an agricultural nation to an industralised economy, at the same time elevating Malaysia’s position as the 17th biggest trading nation in the world.

A successful medical doctor in his hometown Alor Setar, he became active in the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), Malaysia's largest political party, before entering parliament in 1964. By 1976, he had risen to Deputy Prime Minister, and in 1981 was sworn in as Prime Minister.

Under Dr Mahathir’s leadership, Malaysia played a prominent role in the international arena. He was a dominant political figure, winning five consecutive general elections. He was also an advocate of third-world development and a prominent international activist for causes such as the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa and the interests of Bosnians in the 1990s Balkans conflict.

Following his retirement as Prime Minister, Dr Mahathir was conferred his nation’s highest award, Seri Maharaja Mangku Negara. He currently serves as an advisor to four Malaysia government entities and retains a prominent role in the international arena. Dr Mahathir is also the author of several books and articles touching on various issues such as Globalization, Role of Islam and Muslim Ummah, Malaysian Currency Crises, to name a few. He recently published a new book on 8 March 2011 entitled ‘A Doctor in The House – The Memoirs of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, detailing his life and political career over the past 85 years.