Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, the fifth Prime Minister of Malaysia, is best known for introducing the concept of Islam Hadhari which envisions a civilised society based on strong Islamic principles. In 2004, Tun Abdullah also 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.
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 Abduulah 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 married the late Tun Endon Dato' Mahmood in 1965 and after 40 years of marriage, lost her after a prolonged battle with cancer on 20 October 2005. They have 2 children and 5 grandchildren. Tun Abdullah married Tun Jeanne Abdullah on 9 June 2007.Tun Jeanne has two daughters.
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 Ahmad Badawi married twice. His first marriage was with Tun Endon Mahmood. Together, they were blessed with two children; Kamaluddin Abdullah, and Nori Abdullah Badawi. Tun Endon Mahmood sadly passed away due to breast cancer on 20th October 2005.
Tun Abdullah later married Tun Jeanne Abdullah on 9th June 2007. They have no child together but are happily married even until today.
A more elaborate biography presented in an interactive timeline is available here: http://www.perdana.org.my/pms-of-malaysia/visual-timeline
You can also download an infographic version of our former Prime Minister's biography here: http://www.perdana.org.my/pms-of-malaysia/biography-infographics
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