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Mahathir bin Mohamad Fast Facts

updated 10:10 AM EST, Wed January 1, 2014

(CNN) -- Here is a look at former Prime Minister of Malaysia Mahathir Bin Mohamad.

Personal:
Birth date: December 20, 1925

Birth place: Alur Setar, Kedah

Father: an Indian Muslim, was a teacher in Northern Malaysia

Marriage: Siti Hasmah Ali (1956)

Children: at least three sons and two daughters

Education: Entered the King Edward VII College of Medicine in Singapore in 1947

Other Facts:
Prime minister of Malaysia from July 1981 to October 2003.

Is a physician, and one of his nicknames is Dr. M.

After losing his first seat in parliament, wrote a book called "The Malay Dilemma." The book contained racist stereotypes, but helped establish Mahathir as an advocate for Malay rights.

Credited with turning Malaysia into a major trading and economic force in southeast Asia.

Timeline:
1946 - Joins the United Malays National Organization (UMNO).

1964 - Is elected to Parliament for the first time.

1969 - Loses his seat in Parliament and is expelled from the UNMO.

1972 - Returns back to UMNO.

1973 - Is appointed a Senator in the Malaysian parliament.

1974 - Is elected as minister of education.

1976 - Becomes deputy prime minister.

July 1981 - Becomes Malaysia's fourth prime minister, minister of home affairs, and minister of justice.

January 1989 - Has heart bypass surgery.

1998 - Dismisses his deputy Anwar Ibrahim and accuses him of sodomy and corruption.

June 2002 - Announces his resignation.

October 16, 2003 - At a 57-nation Islamic summit in Malaysia, Mahathir claims in a speech that Jews "rule the world by proxy. They get others to fight and die for them."

October 31, 2003 - Mahathir retires and passes the prime ministership to his deputy, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

September 2007 - Has heart bypass surgery following two heart attacks within 10 months.

May 16, 2008 - The Malaysian government announces it has begun an investigation into corruption by the Mahathir administration in the 1980s and 1990s.

May 19, 2008 - Mahathir resigns from the United Malays National Organization, the ruling party of Malaysia.

December 1, 2013 - Steps down as an adviser to oil and gas company Petronas, due to ill health.

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