Prime Ministers of Malaysia
We have prepared a range of materials on Malaysia’s past Prime Ministers, from Tunku Abdul Rahman to Dato’ Seri Najib Razak.
Interactive Biography Timeline
Would you like to scroll through the biography of our five past Prime Ministers through an interactive timeline? If so, this is the link for you. You can view the timelines of the five leaders together, or you can select the Prime Minister you would like to view. Click on the spanner icon on the bottom-right corner of the timeline, select “categories”, and tick the box(es) with the Prime Ministers’ name(s). You can also adjust the spacing and appearance of the timeline through this window.
Our downloadable biography infographics are more succinct versions of each past Prime Minister’s bio. Available in low-res, high-res, English and Bahasa Malaysia, each PDF will give you a good overview of each leader’s life in chronological order.
For a more comprehensive account of each past Prime Minister’s life, our online biographies are available for each past Prime Minister as well as his wife. Click on the Prime Minister’s name below to access the main biography (in English), or click on the menu bar on the right-hand corner of our website to access the drop-down list.
Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj ibni Almarhum Sultan Abdul Hamid Shah (1903-1990) was the Chief Minister of the Federation of Malaya in 1955, and became the first Prime Minister of Malaya in 1957. He was instrumental in the creation of Malaysia and became its first Prime Minister in 1963. He was affectionately called “Tunku” and is known as the “Father of Independence“.
Tun Abdul Razak introduced the New Economic Policy in 1970 to eradicate poverty, and restructure society to address inter-ethnic economic imbalances. He also modernised the agricultural sector and introduced adult literacy classes in rural areas. For his contributions towards rural and national development, he is known as Malaysia’s “Father of Development”.
Tun Hussein Onn was Malaysia’s third prime minister, leading the country from 1976 to 1981. He was renowned for emphasising the issue of unity through policies aimed at rectifying economic imbalances among the races. For his efforts at promoting goodwill among the country’s various communities, Tun Hussein Onn is remembered as the “Father of Unity“.
Tun Dr Mahathir bin Mohamad was appointed as the fourth Prime Minister of Malaysia on 16th July 1981. He served the country for 22 years, becoming Malaysia’s and South-East Asia’s longest-serving Prime Minister. In 2018, after his coalition won the General Elections, Tun Dr Mahathir became the nation’s seventh Prime Minister. Tun Dr Mahathir is known as the “Father of Modernisation“.
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.
1Malaysia was a campaign announced by Prime Minister Najib Razak on 16 September 2008, calling for the cabinet, government agencies, and civil servants to emphasise ethnic harmony, national unity, and efficient governance.