Dato' Seri Najib Razak

2009 - 2018

1 Malaysia 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.

Born 23 July 1953, in Bukit Bius, Kuala Lipis, Pahang

Became the Prime Minister of Malaysia on 3 April 2009

He has five children: Mohd Nizar, Mohd Nazifuddin, Puteri Norlisa, Mohd Norashman, and Nooryana

Dato’ Seri Mohd Najib bin Tun Abdul Razak is a Malaysian politician who served as the 6th Prime Minister of Malaysia from 2009 to 2018. He is the former President of the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), the leading party in Malaysia’s Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition, which maintained control of Malaysia’s government as a parliamentary majority for more than sixty years until the coalition’s defeat in the 2018 General Election.

Born on 23rd July 1953 at the Pahang State Secretary official residence in Bukit Bius, Kuala Lipis, Pahang, Najib is the eldest of Malaysian second Prime Minister Abdul Razak’s six sons, and the nephew of 3rd Prime Minister Hussein Onn. Najib is also one of the Four Noblemen of the Pahang Darul Makmur (Royal Court) by virtue of his inherited title as the Orang Kaya Indera Shahbandar. He received his primary and secondary education at St. John’s Institution, Kuala Lumpur. He later attended Malvern College in Worcestershire, England, and subsequently went to the University of Nottingham, where he received a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Economics in 1974. Najib Razak returned to Malaysia after graduation, and entered the business world, serving briefly in Bank Negara Malaysia and later with Petronas as a public affairs manager.

In 1976, Najib married Tengku Puteri Zainah Tengku Eskandar (‘Kui Yie’) with whom he has three children: Mohd Nizar Najib, Mohd Nazifuddin Najib and Puteri Norlisa Najib. In 1987, he divorced Kui Yie and married Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor with whom he has two children: Mohd Norashman Najib and Nooryana Najwa Najib. His daughter Nooryana is married to the nephew of Kazakhstani President, Nursultan Nazarbayev.

Dato’ Seri Najib was elected to the Parliament of Malaysia in 1976 replacing his deceased father in the Pahang-based seat of Pekan. The national outpouring of grief following Tun Razak’s death and the respect for his father helped Najib win election unopposed as Member of Parliament at the very young age of 23. In 1986, Najib won re-election to the same seat.

From 1982 to 1986, he was the Menteri Besar (Chief Minister) of Pahang, before holding various cabinet posts throughout the remainder of the 1980s and 1990s, including Defence and Education. In 2004, he became Deputy Prime Minister under Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, and replaced him in 2009. Under his leadership, Barisan Nasional won the 2013 elections, although for the first time in Malaysian history, it lost its two-thirds majority in Parliament.

Dato Seri Najib joined the Malaysian Cabinet at the age of 25 when he was appointed Deputy Minister of Energy, Telecommunications and Post in 1978, becoming the youngest deputy minister in the country. He served as the Menteri Besar (Chief Minister) of Pahang between 1982 and 1986, becoming the youngest Menteri Besar in the state to enter office when he was sworn in at the age of 29. In 1986 he was appointed as Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports in the Cabinet of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad. He focused on improving Malaysian sports and introduced the National Sports Policy in 1988. In 1989 Malaysia achieved its best-ever performance at the South East Asia (SEA) Games, held in Kuala Lumpur

Dato Seri Najib was appointed head of UMNO Youth’s Pekan branch and became a member of UMNO Youth’s Executive Council (Exco) in 1976. In 1981, he was selected as a member of UMNO’s Supreme Council, before winning the post of Vice-President of UMNO Youth in 1982. In 1987, he was selected as the acting head of UMNO Youth by Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim after Anwar was asked to contest the post of UMNO Vice-President. Following the complete reorganisation of UMNO by Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad in the aftermath of the 1988 Malaysian constitutional crisis, Najib was appointed President of UMNO Youth in 1988. By 1993, Najib was elected as one of six vice-presidents of UMNO in response to Anwar’s decision to contest for the post of deputy president. Najib continued to defend his post in party elections held in 1993, 1996, and 2004.

As Prime Minister, Dato Seri Najib overturned a rule that required 30% Malay ownership in corporations, and worked to improve relations with neighbouring Singapore. He devised an ambitious stimulus plan, known as the New Economic Model, to double Malaysia’s per capita income by 2020, and controversially hinted at plans to shift some of the country’s pro-Malay affirmative action policies to a needs-based approach.

On May 12, 2018, following the loss – for the first time ever in Malaysian history – of the Barisan Nasional political front to the opposition coalition Pakatan Harapan led by Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad in the nation’s 14th General Elections, Datuk Seri Najib resigned as President of UMNO and Chairman of BN and was replaced by UMNO vice-president, Dato’ Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

*This biography was compiled from material from Al-Jazeera, Wikipedia, and other online biographies including Britannica.com and thefamouspeople.com