Dato’ Seri Abdullah bin Haji Ahmad Badawi became the 5th Prime Minister of Malaysia on 31st October 2003.
Born on 26 November 1939 in Kampung Perlis, Bayan Lepas, Pulau Pinang, Dato’ Seri 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. Dato’ Seri Abdullah pursued his tertiary education at the University of Malaya where he graduated with B.A.(Hons) in Islamic studies in 1964.
Upon graduating, Dato’ Seri Abdullah joined the civil service, where he started his career as Assistant Secretary in the Public Services Department in 1964. In 1969, Dato’ Seri 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. Dato’ Seri Abdullah was later promoted to the Ministry of Culture, Youth & Sports as Director General (1971-1973) and Deputy Secretary General in 1974.
Dato’ Seri 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. He became UMNO Deputy President in 2000.
Dato’ Seri 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, Dato’ Seri Abdullah was appointed to his first post in the administration of the Government of Malaysia, as the Parliamentary Secretary to the Federal Territory Ministry. He was then promoted to Deputy Minister in the same Ministry in 1980. Dato’ Seri 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 Mac 1991 to 1999. In January 1999, Dato’ Seri Abdullah was appointed as the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Home Affairs. Dato’ Seri Abdullah is now the Minister of Finance as well as the Minister of Internal Security.
Dato’ Seri Abdullah married the late Datin Seri Endon Dato’ Mahmood in 1965, and is blessed with two children and four grandchildren.
On 31st of October 2003, Dato' Seri Abdullah Badawi took over the premiership of the country when Dr. Mahathir stepped down.
Since taking over as Prime Minister, Abdullah has taken a very firm stand against corruption and has given more authority to the anti corruption agency and making it easier for the public to report corrupt practices. Abdullah Badawi is also known for stressing on the country's internal security after noticing an increase in corrupt practices such as those is the police force recently.
In the 2004 General Elections, his first as Prime Minister he led the Barisan National coalition to a resounding victory winning 198 out of 220 seats in parliament and won back the State of Terengganu from the Islamic opposition party and came close to capturing the State of Kelantan which has been held by the opposition Islamic party.
He has also advocated an interpretation of Islam known as Islam Hadhari which maintains that Islam, economics and technology development are not incompatible. It consists of 10 fundamental principles:
- Faith and piety in Allah
- Just and trustworthy government
- Freedom and independence to the people
- Mastery of knowledge
- Balanced and comprehensive economic development
- Good quality of life for all
- Protection of the rights of minority groups and women
- Cultural and moral integrity
- Protection of the environment
- Strong defense policy
To Be Continue….
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