Tun Dr. Mahathir bin Mohamad (pronounced ; born December 20, 1925) is a retired Malaysian political figure. He was the fourth Prime Minister of Malaysia. He held the post for 22 years from 1981 to 2003, making him Malaysia's longest-serving Prime Minister, and one of the longest-serving leaders in Asia. During his term in office, he was credited for engineering Malaysia's rapid modernisation. Mahathir is also known for his criticisms of western and developed countries.
During his administration, he was considered to be one of Asia's most influential leaders. Mahathir is also noted in the Western world as an outspoken critic of Western-style globalization.
Mahathir was born in Alor Star, the capital of the northern Malaysian state of Kedah, the youngest of nine children of a schoolteacher and a housewife. His father, Mohamad Iskandar, was of half-Indian origin, being the son of a Malayalee Muslim (who migrated from Kerala) and a Malay mother, while Mahathir's own mother, Wan Tampawan, was Malay.