Abdullah Amhad Badawi

Born: Nov 26, 1939 AD
Currently alive, at 75 years of age.

Nationality: Malaysian
Categories: Prime Ministers

1939 - Abdullah was born to a prominent religious family in Kepala Batas, Penang on November 26, 1939.


1964 - He received a Bachelor of Arts in Islamic Studies from the University of Malaya, having originally wished to pursue a degree in Economics but failing to meet the required standard after failing his statistics paper.


1965-1978 - He joined the Malaysian Administrative and Diplomatic Corps (the formal term for the civil service). He served as Director of Youth at the Ministry of Youth and Sport as well as secretary of the National Emergency Council (MAGERAN). He resigned in 1978 to become the member of parliament for his constituency of Kepala Batas in northern Seberang Perai (which had also been represented by his late father), which he still represents today.


1993 - He was rehabilitated after winning the UMNO Vice Presidency and was given the post of Minister of Foreign Affairs.


1998 - Served as Minister in the Prime Minister's Department, Minister of Youth and Sports, Minister of Defence and Minister of Foreign Affairs. His rehabilitation was completed when he was appointed deputy prime minister and Minister for Home Affairs following the dismissal of Anwar Ibrahim. As Minister of Home Affairs, Abdullah used his powers to rescind the ban on the Iban language Bible.


2003 - On October 31, 2003, Abdullah succeeded Mahathir as Prime Minister. Abdullah's administration has been characterised by controversies concerning the independence of Parliament and the reduction of fuel subsidies. He has also arrested several public figures from the Mahathir era on charges of corruption, a move which was widely applauded by the public. He has advocated an interpretation of Islam known as Islam Hadhari, which maintains that Islam and economic and technological development are not incompatible.


2004 - In the eleventh 2004 general election, Abdullah's first election as the incumbent prime minister, he delivered a stunning victory for his party's coalition Barisan Nasional (of which UMNO is the dominant party) by winning 198 out of 220 seats in parliament, and wrested control of the Terengganu state government back from the Islamist opposition Islamic Party of Malaysia (PAS), as well as coming close to capturing the traditional PAS stronghold of Kelantan. The victory was widely regarded as an approval of his vision of moderate Islam over religious fundamentalism, and support for his anti-corruption policies. On September 10, 2004, Abdullah, as finance minister, tabled his maiden budget, which is seen by the public as being more consolidation and maintenance-oriented as opposed to the growth policies emphasised by Mahathir. Abdullah is also known for stressing on Malaysia's internal security, after witnessing an increase in corruptive practices, such as bribery in the police force. Abdullah is unofficially known in Malay circles in Malaysia as Pak Lah (Malay diminutive for "Uncle Abdullah"). The Malaysian government has issued a statement that the prime minister should not be referred to by this nickname in official articles and in newsprint; however, the nickname is still used informally. In fact, Abdullah himself often uses the nickname to refer to himself in public gatherings.


2005 - It was alleged that under Abdullah's administration, there had been a significant increase in cases of cronyism regarding the distribution of import permits for foreign-manufactured vehicles. Mahathir, Abdullah's predecessor, called for an investigation of the issue. Later, Mahathir criticised Abdullah for cancelling a number of development projects that Mahathir had backed, such as the construction of a bridge to replace the causeway linking Malaysia and Singapore. On October 20, 2005, Abdullah's wife, Endon Mahmood, died after a long battle with breast cancer.

Page last updated: 5:41am, 01st Nov '06
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