- History should remember Blair and Bush as the killers of children or as the lying prime minister and president.
- 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 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.
- 1970 book, "The Malay Dilemma."
- 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.
- To be a great leader, one needs to have good strategies, be knowledgeable and able to predict the future. 
- “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…” - Letter to Darrel Abercrombie in 1987, quoted at Free Malaysia Today