Past Event

"World Leaders Forum: Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, Prime Minister of Malaysia"

September 25, 2019
9:30 AM - 10:30 AM
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World Leaders Forum Event

Please join us for an address by:

Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, Prime Minister of Malaysia


Introduction by:

Vishakha N. Desai, Vice Chair, Committee on Global Thought, Senior Advisor for Global Affairs; Senior Research Scholar

School of International and Public Affairs

Moderated by:

Lien-Hang Nguyen, Dorothy Borg Associate Professor in the History of the United States and East Asia,

Department of History


This World Leaders Forum program features an address with a focus on the rule of law and multilateralism by Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, Prime Minister of Malaysia followed by a question and answer session with the audience.


About the Speaker:

H.E. Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad was Prime Minister of Malaysia from 1981 to 2003. During this period he opened up the country to foreign investments, reformed taxation, reduced trade barriers, oversaw the privatisations of numerous state-owned enterprises and created a world-class physical infrastructure. He also sought to bridge Malaysia’s ethnic divide by increasing general prosperity. In 1991, he launched the New Development Policy, which emphasised industrial and commercial development and the elimination of poverty. Under Tun Dr. Mahathir’s leadership, Malaysia developed into one of the most prosperous and dynamic economies in Southeast Asia, with a burgeoning industrial sector, an expanding middle class and enhanced quality of life. In 1995, the Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC) initiative was introduced to make Malaysia a global player in the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) industry. Malaysia also played a more active role in the international arena, acting as the voice for developing nations in Asia and Africa. Always with one eye on the future, Tun Dr. Mahathir unveiled Vision 2020 in 1991, a blueprint for Malaysia’s journey towards becoming a developed economy and a mature democracy by the year 2020. In 2015, Tun Dr. Mahathir decided to come out of his political retirement and spearheaded a campaign to oust Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak from office. Tun Dr. Mahathir and several like-minded political leaders had formed Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) in which he is the chairman. Other political parties opposed to the Prime Minister had also rallied around him and elected Tun Dr Mahathir to be the chairman of Pakatan Harapan (Coalition of Hope) as well as naming him as the Prime Minister designate if they won the 14th general election.

On 9th May 2018, the result of the 14th Malaysian General Election declared the Pakatan Harapan as the winner. Tun Dr Mahathir wins sworn in as the 7th Prime Minister the following day.


This is a Weatherhead East Asian Institute Lectures and Panels event.