Mahathir bin Mohamad

4th and 7th Prime Minister of Malaysia (1981–2003, 2018–20)

Mahathir bin Mohamad (born 10 July 1925) is a Malaysian politician who was the country's Prime Minister from 1981 to 2003 and 2018 to 2020.

Mahathir bin Mohamad



  • The Malays are spiritually inclined, tolerant and easy-going. The non-Malays, and especially the Chinese, are materialistic, aggressive and have an appetite for work. For equality to come about, it is necessary that these strikingly contrasting races adjust to each other.
    • The Malay Dilemma (1970).
  • It is disgraceful that you should be used by adults for the purpose of trying to shame us ... The timber industry helps hundreds of thousands of poor people in Malaysia. Are they supposed to remain poor because you want to study tropical animals? Is your study more important than filling the stomachs of poor people? Are Malaysians expected to lose millions of pounds so that you can study animals? [...] I hope you will tell the adults who made use of you to learn all the facts. They should not be too arrogant and know how best to run a country…


  • It's quite obvious that when the Eastern bloc was still there, it was a bustle between capitalism and communism. Once communism was defeated, then capitalism could expand and show its true self. It's no longer constrained by the need to be nice, so that people will choose their so-called free-market system as opposed to the centrally planned system. So because of that, nowadays there is nothing to restrain capital, and capital is demanding that it should be able to go anywhere and do whatever it likes.
  • Clearly Islam the religion is not the cause of terrorism. Islam, as I said, is a religion of peace. However through the centuries, deviations from the true teachings of Islam take place. And so [people who call themselves] "Muslims" kill despite the injunction of their religion against killing especially of innocent people.
  • We (Muslims) are actually very strong. 1.3 billion people cannot be simply wiped out. The Europeans killed 6 million Jews out of 12 million. But today the Jews rule the world by proxy. They get others to fight and die for them.
    • Speech to a summit of 57 Islamic countries (16 October 2003)
  • We need an opposition to remind us if we are making mistakes. When you are not opposed you think everything you do is right.
    • The Star (Malaysian publication, December 2005).
  • I believe that the country should have a strong government but not too strong. A two-thirds majority like I enjoyed when I was prime minister is sufficient but a 90% majority is too strong.
  • I believe that if that bastard leaves, we then won't be bastardised.
    • in reference to Prime Minister Najib Razak during a speech at Pasir Gudang on 29 August 2015. Previously, Najib Razak had warned that Malaysian Malays would be "bastardised" were UMNO to lose power in the government, raising controversy by using a swear word (Malay "bangsat", loosely translated as "anus") in his speech.
  • We call upon all Malaysians, irrespective of race, religion, political situation, creed or parties, young and old, to join us in saving Malaysia from the government headed by Najib Razak. We must rid ourselves of Najib as prime minister. If he’s allowed to go on, the damage will be worse and worse.

Malaysian Politicians Say the Darndest Things [Vol I]Edit

Matahari Books, Kuala Lumpur, 20007 ISBN 978-983-43596-0-7

  • We will shoot [any Vietnamese migrants] on sight.
    • Comments (1975) as deputy prime minister on how Malaysia would deal with refugees from Vietnam fleeing the Sino-Vietnamese War, p. 12.
  • To be known you have to be a little bit nasty. In any case, I'm nasty only toward governments. I'm not nasty towards business people.
    • As quoted by The Financial Review (19 November 1993).
  • We also do not call each other "Bapak This" or "Bapak That, not like in the past. We now only hear people calling "Bapak" (father) at home.
    • p. 22
  • Even if I were to kiss and hug Anwar Ibrahim in public, they will say there is a rift because this is what they want to see.
    • p. 31
  • When one is short, one should stand on a box to get a better view. The Twin Towers is [sic] to our ego what the box is to the shorties.
    • Quote from Asia Times (3 September 1999), p. 47.
    • The "twin towers" mentioned are the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, the tallest buildings in the world from 1998 to 2004.

On Mahathir bin MohamadEdit

  • He has no close friends that I know of.
    • Daim Zainuddin, as quoted in Malaysian Politicians Say the Darndest Things [Vol I].
  • What concerns me right now is that with the actions of Dr Mahathir, who is a lauded statesman and a beloved international icon, the country could become unstable, driving away foreign investors from this nation at the same time. As a former Prime Minister, he should be more understanding of what democracy is, which cannot be achieved the way Dr Mahathir is going about it now.

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