Since independent, Malaysia has held thirteen general elections and has in the history led by six Prime Ministers. While each and every Prime Minister has his strengths and weaknesses, here we find out how our 3 latest Prime Ministers namely Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad (Tun M.), Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi (Pak Lah), Dato' Sri Najib Razak (Najib Razak) have fared against each other in different areas.
1. Educational Background
Tun M. beats both Pak Lah and Najib Razak hands down in terms of educational background. He had already established a pattern of participation in literary and nationalist study and discussion groups during his time in university, and soon developed a reputation as a bold and skillful debater.
2. Political Ideology
Tun M. - Malay Nationalism
Under the leadership of Tun M., one of Vision 2020's features was to gradually break down ethnic barriers. Under the National Development Policy (NDP), some government programs designed to benefit the Bumiputera exclusively were opened up to other ethnicities. Poverty rate was successfully reduced.
Pak Lah – Declared Islam Hadhari
During Pak Lah’s premiership, he advocated an interpretation of Islam known as Islam Hadhari, which advocates the inter-compatibility between Islam and economic and technological development. His administration emphasised a revival of the Malaysian agricultural sector.
Najib Razak – Unity, Equality
Najib Razak believes in equality and unity. The introduction of 1Malaysia emphasised the importance of national unity regardless of race, background or religious belief for a better tomorrow.
Whose political ideology works best? You judge.
3. Honorific Title
With over years of service and the implementation of series of initiatives, each of the Prime Ministers was being granted a soubriquet respectively.
4. Major Initiatives Introduced During Premiership
During the tenure of their service, they have introduced numbers of initiatives respectively. Each of them has unique focus areas, with the ultimate target of bringing Malaysia to the next level.
5. Handling of Financial Crisis
We respect the way Tun M. handled the financial crisis in 1998. He imposed strict capital controls and introduced a 3.80 peg against the USD, stopped the overseas trade in MYR and other ringgit assets therefore making offshore use of the ringgit invalid, restricting the amount of currency and investments that residents can take abroad, and imposed for foreign portfolio funds, a minimum one-year "stay period" which since has been converted to an exit tax. Malaysia recovered from the crisis faster than its Southeast Asian neighbours.
6. Controversies and Scandals
There had been many controversies levelled at these three leaders of Malaysia. How true are these? While they are not proven, we are not in the best position to comment or judge.
7. First Ladies
Tun Dr. Siti Hasmah binti Haji Mohamad Ali
The wife of Tun M. was one of the first Malay woman doctors in Malaysia and the first woman to be appointed a Medical Officer in government service for the State of Kedah. She campaigns tirelessly for women's health, family planning, drug abuse control and adult literacy.
Tun Jeanne Abdullah
Pak Lah’s wife, Tun Jeanne Abdullah, is the Chairperson of Landskap Malaysia and patron of Paralympic Council of Malaysia.
Datin Seri Hajah Rosmah Mansor
The wife of our current Prime Minister, holds a Master's degree in Sociology and Agriculture from Louisiana State University. She is the President of the Welfare Association of Minister's Wives (BAKTI) and holds the position of Patron for various associations