In the span of over sixty years, ever since “Merdeka” or Independence from the British colonialists in 1957, the nation has undergone sweeping changes and transformation that it is no longer recognized as an agrarian commune but a highly developed and industrialized country today.
This is the reason for bringing to you THE NATION MALAYSIA HUB TODAY. It has never been more timely than now to bring to you this biography of the nation that will not only highlight its past, but its present and future as well, the direction and shape the nation is moving towards.
After having served as the 4th Prime Minister of Malaysia from 16 July 1981 to 31 October 2003, a span of 22 years, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohammad returns as the 7th Prime Minister following the victory of his political party, Pakatan Harapan, in the recently concluded 14th General Election.
When he was installed as the Prime Minister for the second time, Tun Dr Mahathir was already 92 years old making him the oldest elected Prime Minister in the world. This is a most remarkable achievement that has not been matched so far by any other world leader.
During his first tenure as Prime Minister, Tun Dr Mahathir gave Malaysia the political stability needed to pursue policies that would foster sustained economic growth and he formulated the New Development Policy in 1991 to emphasize general economic growth and the elimination of poverty.
Under Tun Dr Mahathir’s leadership, Malaysia became one of the most prosperous and dynamic economies in Southeast Asia with a burgeoning manufacturing sector, an expanding middle class, rising literacy rates and increased life expectancies.
In 1982, Tun Dr Mahathir launched the National Car Project. It first started as a joint venture between Perusahaan Otomotif National Berhad, Proton, Hicom Berhad and Mitsubishi Motor Corporation to begin the project.
In the late 1990s, Tun Dr Mahathir helped Malaysia face the future by establishing the Multimedia Super Corridor which emphasizes “information technology” as a very important asset for the country in the New Millennium.
Apart from this, Tun Dr Mahathir embarked on various large scale national projects such as the North South Highway, the Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Sepang and a Formula One racing circuit, an Olympic class stadium in Bukit Jalil and the Petronas Twin Towers.
During his years as Prime Minister, he successfully created a paradigm shift in the structure of the economic system in Malaysia and transformed the country from being reliant on agriculture into trading and industrialization.
This is why he is seen as the most successful Malaysian Prime Minister and this is also the reason why he is being welcomed back into the fold of Malaysian politics as the current Prime Minister to leave an impressive legacy for the world to absorb.
Newly-elected Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia, Datuk Seri Dr. Wan Azizah binti Wan Ismail, is showing women all over the world the way forward by her hard work, grit and commitment to politics. The gutsy lady has never said die although she has been through much hell in her lifetime.
Not only is Dr. Wan Azizah the Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia she is also the Minister of Women and Family Development. This is why she is able to fulfill her life-long ambition to be able to empower women to be on equal standing with the men.
Dr. Wan Azizah is also the Member of Parliament for the constituency of Pandan since 12 May 2018. But it is her triumph of being Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia that takes the cake as she is the first woman in the country to hold the second-most powerful political position.
Dr. Wan Azizah was born in Singapore in 1952. She has a Peranakan Chinese grandfather and was raised as a Malay Muslim. This is why she is acceptable as a political leader as she is able to mix well and integrate with people of all walks of life.
She received her early education at St Nicholas Convent School, Alor Setar and continued her education at Tunku Kurshiah College, Seremban. Later she studied medicine at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland and was awarded a gold medal in obstetrics & gynaecology.
She is a qualified ophthalmologist. For 14 years she worked as a government doctor and retired before focusing on charity work for the people when her husband, Encik Anwar Ibrahim, was the Deputy Prime Minister.
She was also a patron of MAKNA (National Cancer Council) and became the second woman to lead a political party in Malaysia’s history. These distinctions were gearing her for the powerful and influential post of Deputy Prime Minister.
Following the dismissal and arrest of her husband on 20 September 1998, Dr. Wan Azizah became leader of the fledgling Reformasi movement. She first led the Social Justice Movement (ADIL) before establishing the Parti Keadilan Nasional on 4 April 1999. The establishment of the political party witnessed Dr. Wan Azizah being elected as the first party president.
In the first elections competed by the party in 1999, Dr Wan Azizah led the party to win five seats in Parliament and was herself elected as Member of Parliament for Permatang Pauh, the seat formerly held by Encik Anwar Ibrahim.
As a political party leader and also a parliamentary representative, Dr. Wan Azizah has spoken at UN-sponsored programs and the local and international media. She is also the Vice-Chairwoman of the Malaysian Parliamentary Caucus for Democracy in Myanmar and a member of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Myanmar Caucus.
Now she looks forward with relish to undertaking her role as a primary political leader in this country and especially to better and to uplift the socio-economic status and the Quality-of-Life for not only women but everyone in Malaysia.
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© 2018, The Nation Malaysia Today