Tun Dr Mahatir Mohamad
Former Prime Minister of Malaysia
Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad is truly an international statesman who was Malaysia’s fourth Prime Minister.View Citation
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Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad is truly an international statesman who was Malaysia’s fourth Prime Minister. A doctor by profession, he was born on December 20, 1925, in Alor Setar, the capital of Kedah.
Dr Mahathir is multi-talented, as he is known for engaging himself in carpentry and while studying medicine, at King Edward VII Medical College in Singapore, he edited a medical student magazine called `The Cauldron’. He also contributed to The Straits Times under the pseudonym Che Det, which was his nickname among his family members and friends.
There is a need for us to believe in ourselves, to believe we can do things that others can do, sometimes we can do things better than others can do.
Being once the longest serving Prime Minister in Malaysia and also Asia, he played a pivotal role in engineering Malaysia’s rapid modernization and its ‘Look East’ policy. He is also well known for his strong criticisms and is an outspoken critic of Western civilisation and those who viewed Islam as being a religion that promotes violence.
He is married to Toh Puan Dr Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali, his former classmate and the couple have five children.
Contributions as the Prime Minister
During his tenure as the Prime Minister, he was responsible for pulling in and attracting high-tech manufacturing, financial and telecommunications and introduced highways in bridging the transportation divide and made sure even the remote areas are accessible by roads.
Dr Mahathir was also responsible for building the Multimedia Super Corridor, the new administrative capital Putrajaya, the Kuala Lumpur International Airport and one of the highest buildings in the world the Petronas Twin Towers.
It was during his tenure as Prime Minister, that he allowed private higher education institutions to be set-up like Limkokwing University of Creative Technology, Multimedia University and foreign universities like University of Nottingham in Malaysia, Malaysia Universiti of Science Technology, Monash University and Curtin University, Australia.
For his efforts to promote economic development of Malaysia, Dr Mahathir has been granted the soubriquet of Bapa Pemodenan (Father of Modernisation).
At Limkokwing University of Technology
Dr Mahathir has played a pivotal role in transforming Malaysia from a country that relied heavily on commodities towards industrialisation and modernisation.
Tan Sri Lim Kok Wing is among the people who shared my views. He believed as I do, in the abilities of the Malaysians.
The former Prime Minister also recognised the needs of creativity and innovation in driving the economy. For this, he commended Limkokwing University’s Founder and President Tan Sri Lim Kok Wing for his forward thinking.
“Tan Sri Lim Kok Wing is among the people who shared my views. He believed as I do, in the abilities of the Malaysians. This enabled us to get along very well and to work together on the process of convincing Malaysians that they can do what others can do and probably do it better.”
The former Prime Minister was also pivotal with the coming up of the Malaysia Design Technology Centre which acts as a business catalyst in developing Malaysian brands that would sell around the world.
Tan Sri Lim said, “We are a small market, so we have to export. For better margins we need to have our own brands and move from being original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to original design manufacturers (ODMs) – that is taking the product from concept to production – and original brand manufacturers (OBMs). To have our own brands we must be the brains, the owner of the ideas.
Tan Sri Lim said the idea to form the MDTC to function as a business catalyst came during a meeting with Dr Mahathir.
Need to be creative and innovative
Dr Mahathir also said Malaysians need to be creative to progress in information technology to push the country towards the next level of the communication and information age.
"There is a need for us to believe in ourselves, to believe we can do things that others can do, sometimes we can do things better than others can do them.
"Once we have the belief that we are in no way inferior, that within us there is that capacity to come up with new ideas, then those ideas will actually surface," the former Prime Minister said at the launching of the Wings of Creativity, the first-ever publication that captures creative images of Malaysia's progress published by the Limkokwing Integrated Group.
Dr Mahathir also said at the same function that the world’s economy was moving from an industrial age into the communications and information age and this requires new and innovative thinking, new applications that involve more information and more knowledge.
"It is therefore important for us to realise that we need to think differently to use new skills and new technology," he said.
"We have to dig out the creativity and allow it to come to the surface and we need good teachers to identify our creativity," he added.
In 1994, students from the then Limkokwing Institute of Creative Technology presented him with a giant greeting card measured 90 cm by 120 cm.
Dr Mahathir said he was touched by such a grand gesture.
“It’s beautiful with pictures of buildings, thank you…I hope you and your school will achieve success,” he commented.
The card depicts Dr Mahathir's successes by illustrating pictures of the Kuala Lumpur Tower, Petronas Twin Towers, the second Malaysian car, Perodua Kancil, and the country's varied cultures.
Certainly, the fourth Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad will always have a place in Limkokwing University of Creative Technology’s heart, with his enthusiasm and ideas in driving Malaysia forward.