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Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi Biography

Known as Malaysia’s “Father of Human Capital Development”, Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, the fifth Prime Minister of Malaysia introduced the National Integrity Plan, a master plan to cultivate Malaysians to become an ethical society. To combat graft, Tun Abdullah set up the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) and in a bid to reduce bureaucracy in business-government dealings, he established PEMUDAH (Pasukan Petugas Khas Pemudahcara Perniagaan). In the economic sphere, he focused on modernising the agriculture sector and initiated plans for various economic hubs including the Iskandar Development Region (IDR) in Johor, the East Coast Economic Region (ECER) and the Sabah Development Corridor (SDC). With more than 30 years’ experience in public administration, Tun Abdullah during his term improved public sector services for the convenience of Malaysian citizens, and established agencies to improve governance.

Biografi Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi (Bahasa Malaysia)


Born on 26 November 1939 in Kampung Perlis, Bayan Lepas, Pulau Pinang, Tun Abdullah received his early education at Sekolah Kebangsaan Pematang Bertam. He later attended Bukit Mertajam High School, Penang Methodist Boys’ School and a religious school started by his family. Tun Abdullah pursued his tertiary education at the University of Malaya where he graduated with B.A.(Hons) in Islamic studies in 1964.

Upon graduating, Tun Abdullah joined the civil service, where he started his career as Assistant Secretary in the Public Services Department in 1964. In 1969, Tun Abdullah moved to the National Operation Council (NOC) or Majlis Gerakan Negara (MAGERAN), a body responsible to exercise the ruling powers for the country after the May 1969 racial riots. Tun Abdullah was later promoted to the Ministry of Culture, Youth & Sports as Director General (1971-1973) and Deputy Secretary General in 1974.

Tun Abdullah resigned from Government service in 1978 to pursue a political career. A loyal UMNO member since 1965, he was elected UMNO Supreme Council Member in 1981, and UMNO Vice President in 1984, 1987, 1990 and 1996. Tun Abdullah became UMNO Deputy President in 2000.

Tun Abdullah won his first election for the Parliamentary seat of the Kepala Batas constituency in 1978, (a seat he has retained since). In the same year, Tun Abdullah was appointed to his first post in the administration of the Government of Malaysia, as the Parliamentary Secretary to the Federal Territory Ministry. Tun Abdullah was then promoted to Deputy Minister in the same Ministry in 1980. Tun Abdullah later held the post of Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department from 1981 to 1984; and Minister of Education from 1984 to 1986; Minister of Defence from 1986 to 1987; and Minister of Foreign Affairs from 15 March 1991 to 1999. In January 1999, Tun Abdullah was appointed as the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Home Affairs. Tun Abdullah is also the Minister of Defence.

Tun Abdullah bin Haji Ahmad Badawi became the 5th Prime Minister of Malaysia on 31 October 2003 and stepped down as Prime Minister on 2nd April 2009.

Tun Abdullah is unofficially known in Malaysia as Pak Lah. His hobbies include collecting walking sticks, playing golf and deep sea fishing. As a person who defies superstition, it is well-known that Tun Abdullah's favourite number is 13.

Tun Abdullah married the late Tun Endon Dato' Mahmood in 1965 and after 40 years of marriage, lost her after a prolonged battle with breast cancer on 20 October 2005. They have 2 children; Kamaluddin Abdullah and Nori Abdullah, and 5 grandchildren.

Tun Abdullah later married Tun Jeanne Abdullah on 9th June 2007. They have no child together but are happily married even until today.


1939: Born in Bayan Lepas, Pulau Pinang on 26th November.
1964: Graduated with a degree in Islamic Studies from Universiti Malaya. Started his career as Assistant Secretary in the Public Services Department.
1965: Married Endon Mahmood.
1969: Became the Principal Assistant Secretary at the National Operation Council (MAGERAN)
1971: Became the Director General at the Ministry of Culture, Youth & Sports
1974: Became Deputy Secretary General of Ministry of Culture, Youth & Sports
1978: Became a Member of the Parliament for Kepala Batas. In the same year, appointed as the Parliamentary Secretary to the Federal Territory Ministry.
1979: Became the UMNO Branch Chief for Bertam, and Division Chief of Kepala Batas.
1980: Promoted to Deputy Minister of the Federal Territory Ministry
1981: Elected as UMNO Supreme Council Member, and appointed as Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department.
1984: Appointed as Minister of Education, and elected as UMNO Vice President.
1986: Appointed as Minister of Defence.
1987: Stripped of his position as Minister of Defence for supporting Musa Hitam of “Team B”.
1988: UMNO Baru was formed, and Tun Dr Mahathir brought Tun Abdullah in as Vice President.
1991: Appointed as Minister of Foreign Affairs.
1999: Appointed as Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia after Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim was sacked.
2000: Elected as Deputy President of UMNO.
2003: Became the 5th Prime Minister of Malaysia on 31st October 2003.
2004: Tun Abdullah introduces the National Integrity Plan.
2004: Elected as UMNO President, running uncontested.
2004: The National Front won big in the General Elections.
2005: His wife, Tun Endon Mahmood, passed away after she lost her battle with breast cancer.
2006: Tun Abdullah established the 5 Economic Corridors.
2007: Married Tun Jeanne Abdullah on 9th June 2007.
2008: Announced that he won’t be contesting for UMNO Presidency, after the National Front’s worst election performance.
2009: Stepped down as the Prime Minister of Malaysia, and was replaced by his Deputy, Dato’ Seri Najib Razak.


Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi launched the 5 Economic Corridors of Malaysia; 1) Iskandar Malaysia, 2) Northern Corridor Economic Region, 3) East Coast Economic Region, 4) Sabah Development Corridor, & 5) Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy. The economic corridors were introduced under the 9th Malaysian Plan with the objective to boost the development and economies of the 5 regions.

Combating Corruptions
Founded the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), as well as the Pasukan Petugas Khas Pemudahcara Perniagaan (PEMUDAH) to combat corruptions in both public and private sector.

Human Capital Development
Tun Abdullah launched the National Integrity Plan, and the Integrity Institute of Malaysia (IIM) that aims to promote integrity and cultivates Malaysian to become an ethical society.
Islam Hadhari was a concept conceived by Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. The national policy focused on the improving the society’s development and quality of life as a whole, through the mastery of knowledge in all fields, and human capital development. 10 key strategies were introduced as guideline to achieve Islam Hadhari.


A more elaborate biography presented in an interactive timeline is available here:

You can also download an infographic version of our former Prime Minister's biography here:


Selected Speeches


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