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Introduction

Doctor Mahathir Mohamed acted as the fourth prime minister of the Malaysian republic. Born on 10, July 1925, he grew up in Alor Setar. He went to school and successfully graduated as a medical doctor. Before getting into the parliament, Mahathir became an active member of united Malays national organization. This acted as the largest party, in Malaysia at that time. He finally entered parliament, in the year 1960. This paper looks at the characteristics and ways of leadership that Mahathir Mohamed displayed, while he acted as the Malaysian prime minister.

Discussion

Mahathir became active in politics since the end of the war. His entrance into politics became clear when he joined the protests out forward against the practice of granting citizenship, to non-Malays people, under the Malayan union.  Mahathir argued for affirmative action for Malays people at the medical college that he studied.  His leadership characteristics became known when he studied in college. While in college, Mahathir actively contribute towards the fight for human rights (Wain, 2010).

When Mahathir got in to parliament, he attacked Singapore for being pro-Chinese and ant-Malay. In fact, at one point he referred the leader of Singapore, as arrogant. This caused the dismissal of Singapore from Malaysia, in the first full year term of Mahathir, in parliament. As a backbencher, Mahathir got a reliable political environment, to explore his ideologies.   When Mahathir entered parliament, he did not serve for long. He served for a period of one term and lost his seat. His relationship with the then prime minister of Malaysia, Tunku Abdul Rahman, became sour. This cost him an expulsion from the political party that helped him get to parliament. However, when Abdul Rahman resigned as the prime minister, Mahathir got back, to the party and into the parliament with an immediate promotion to the cabinet.  In 1976, Mahathir had become the deputy prime minister of Malaysia. In 1981, Mahathir became the Malaysian prime minister, after Hussein, who acted as the Malaysian prime minister resigned (Yu, 2008).

Mahathir Mohammad contributed to the Malaysian republic, in many ways. He got credit for his contribution, to the Malaysian economic growth and modernization. He initiated many infrastructure projects, in Malaysia at his time of leadership. For a short time as a prime minister, Mahathir became a dominant political figure winning five consecutive elections. He defeated his rivals for the leadership of UMNO national party.

Mahathir displayed himself as a confident and determined leader. When Mahathir lost his seat after his first entrance to parliament, he did not give up. Mahathir fought back after the then prime minister resigned. This showed his courage and determination, as an avid political leader. Mahathir displayed himself as an ambitious leader who wanted to bring a significant change, both in the political arena and the development of the country. This comes out from the fact that he succeeded in re-entering his former national political party and getting to parliament once more. After he got to parliament for the second time, Mahathir displayed his ambition for significant leadership, when he got promoted, in to the cabinet. After a short while, Mahathir became the deputy prime minister, for the Malaysian republic.

His reign as a leader rose, to a high level when he became the prime minister, in 1981. His re-election into the parliament for five consecutive times displayed Mahathir as a competent leader.  Mahathir worked as a hardworking leader, who sacrificed his personal popularity at the expense of making valuable changes. Mahathir once stated that he realized that he made enemies due to lack of choice. He stated that he would sit comfortably, act nicely to people and do nothing or he would act and make changes, at the expense of his political popularity. Mahathir chose the latter because he knew that he would not act as a leader forever and he would not become unpopular forever.  He decided that he would act against the will of other people, as long as he did the right thing. The former premier displayed outspoken and blunt leadership qualities that blend with his outstanding personality. This enabled him change the Malaysian republic, for the better. Mahathir contributed to the economic development of Malaysia, by coming up with projects that helped the country move forward, in every sector. Perhaps his determination and contributions made it possible for him to stay, in office for the time he did. The self-confidence that Mahathir displayed enabled him cruise through difficulties and challenges that faced him and his ideologies and actions.

Mahathir has the credit of establishing a paradigm shift, in Malaysia. This happened at a time when Malaysia faced a state of slow progression, in terms of the economic development of the country. Mahathir Mohamed established Malaysia from an economically backwater country, to a large trading nation that ranked among the first twenty-eight out of one hundred and ten, in the world. His principles as a determined and ambitious leader contributed towards this kind of development.

Mahathir displayed a courageous character. He had the perseverance to accomplish goals that he set regardless of the insurmountable challenges. He displayed a confident calmness, in times of stress. Mahathir acted as a visionary leader, who made timely and appropriate changes. His imaginative qualities made him thoughtful and creative. Together with a building excellence, Mahathir established the country within the boundaries of doing the right thing, even when his actions seemed unpopular.

Mahathir worked as a coordinative leader. He ensured that he never overlooked significant tasks and took care of every side of the tasks that he did. He ensured that he directed resources towards tasks that needed them. Mahathir gave Malaysia a direction. He made sure that the whole country moved towards one direction, in terms of development, even though he faced resistance from some people. Instead of looking at those who resisted as enemies, he looked at them as critics, who put him at check, to ensure that his projects and visions went towards the right direction. He stimulated dialogue between various stakeholders. This made it possible for the Malaysian republic, to come up with feasible suggestions, projects and plans that would help, to channel the development goals and objectives of the country towards the right and needed direction (Yu, 2008).

Mahathir acted as a leader who had the desire to serve others. He genuinely displayed this urge through his leadership model. Mahathir did not care about those who wanted to criticize him with no basis. His desire to serve others came to light when he decided to sacrifice his popularity and personal growth as opposed to doing the right thing. Mahathir did not act as a leader whose only job involved words without actions. He displayed a tactical and technical proficiency, in handling things. This made it possible for him, to change the country from a slow developing nation, to one of the most active trading nations, in the world. He knew what he wanted for the Malaysian republic. This made him seek public improvements in all sectors that operated, in Malaysia during his time of leadership, as the prime minister.

Mahathir Mohamed advocated for third world countries development. Many people knew him as an active international activist against apartheid movement, in South Africa and the Bosnian interest, in the 1990s Balkan conflict.

Mahathir delivered a first world economy for the people of Malaysia. This provided high standards of living for the Malaysian people. Malaysian people started getting high levels of income. Education became one of the key issues during the reign of Mahathir.  Mahathir enabled the people of Malaysia to enter in to the trading and business world, as investors. This transformed the Malaysian economy, to significant heights.

Mahathir practiced an antagonistic political leadership model. He opposed western values despite the fact that he did not practice anti-capitalist leadership. He was aware of the market needs. Mahathir allowed the existence of Malaysian enterprises. The economy of Malaysia depended on the expansion of its market cover. Realizing this, Mahathir ensured that relevant bodies formulated policies that would contribute towards an access to advance knowledge, technological advancements and facilitation of Malaysian enterprises.  This led to the establishment of innovations that contributed to the creation of new industries and improvements made to the production capacity of the economy. In so doing, Mahathir made sure that the Malaysian economy cemented, within the context of globalization (MYDANS, 2008).

Mahathir did not just succeed as a political leader. When he acted as the minister of trade and industry and the minister for education, Mahathir implemented policies that would ensure that the country reached the peak off development. He implemented a strong industrial policy that established a governmental corporation, which would invest in the development of manufacturing fields, such as, the car manufacturing industry.

Mahathir contributed much to the economic development of Malaysia. In fact, when he acted as the deputy prime minister, Mahathir spent most of his time overseas trying to consolidate economic opportunities for the Malaysian republic. However, he faced considerable amounts of challenges from the then prime minister, Hussein. Hussein and Mahathir had an enmity between them. This made it difficult for Mahathir to make significant economic impact (Mohamad, 2007).

Mahathir practiced strategic leadership. He knew that he had many political opponents, especially, in his own party. Therefore, he decided to act with caution. This would help him remain in active politics while he planned for a better way of dealing with the situation that he faced.  When he got elected as the Prime Minister, Mahathir worked with caution for the first two years, before the general elections. He did this because he strategized for the coming elections. He did not want to act in a manner that would cost his re-election. After his re-election, Mahathir started applying his political and economic ideologies. Many of his ideologies helped to raise the economic state of Malaysia.

However, Mahathir Mohamed faced certain difficulties and criticism during his tenure as a political leader, in Malaysia. The academic community accused him of bringing anti-reformist policies, in the education sector. Mahathir exerted government control over universities in Malaysia. Despite the fact that he engaged in active politics, while in campus, Mahathir limited politics that happened, in universities. He gave the ministry of education the power to punish students and academics, who participated in active politics (Fawas, 2010).

Mahathir received accusations off curbing civil liberties for people, in Malaysia, when he fought for the rights of people. This seemed to work against his ideologies. Despite this, Mahathir acted as a successful leader, who brought many changes, in Malaysia.

Conclusion

Mahathir participated as an influential leader, in the politics of Malaysia, for a long time. Mahathir succeeded in bringing many changes, in Malaysia. Mahathir brought many changes, to the economic sector, in Malaysia. The policies that he came up with promoted the economic status of Malaysia, to become one of the strongest, in the world. Mahathir reign in Malaysia considerably changed the face of Malaysia, in the whole world.

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