He is the fourth Prime Minister of Malaysia which he held for 22 years. From 1981 to 2003, he is the country's longest serving Prime Minister as well as in the whole of Asia. Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad started life not as Malay but as Malayali -the people of Kerala in south India, where his father came from. When he was studying in a university in Singapore, Mahathir was listed as an indian.
Mahathir is full of paradoxes on racial issues. Many of his policies have had the effect of reducing the racial element in government decisions, watering down the agenda to advance malay interests. But in fact he failed to protect and maintain the immunity of Malay rulers. Yet, despite his trumpeting of Asian identity, Mahathir appears ashamed to admit his Indian heritage.
In his new book, A New Deal for Asia, he writes about his father in such a way as to imply that he was Malay dedicated to the improvement of his fellow Malays rather than the hard-working Indian immigrant and government servant that he was. He forgotten his root as well.