TUN MAHATHIR MOHAMAD – Personal
Mahathir was born in Alor Setar, Kedah, the youngest of nine children of a schoolteacher and a housewife. His father, Mohamad Iskandar, was of Indian origin, being the son of a Malayalee Muslim (who migrated from Kerala) and a Malay mother, while Mahathir’s own mother, Wan Tampawan, was Malay.
During World War II, he sold pisang goreng (banana fritters) and other snacks to supplement his family income during the Japanese occupation of Malaya. Mahathir attended a Malay vernacular school before continuing his education at the Sultan Abdul Hamid College in Alor Star. Mahathir then attended the King Edward VII Medical College (the predecessor of present-day National University of Singapore) in Singapore, where he edited a medical student magazine called The Cauldron; he also contributed to the The Straits Times newspaper pseudonymously under the nickname “Che Det”. Mahathir was also President of the Muslim Society in the college. Upon graduation in 1953, Mahathir joined the then Malayan government service as a medical officer. He married Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali—a fellow doctor and former classmate in college—on 5 August 1956, and left government service in 1957 to set up his own private practice in Alor Star. Mahathir thrived in private practice, and allowed him to own by 1959 a Pontiac Catalina and employ an ethnic Chinese chauffeur (at the time, almost all chauffeurs in Malaysia were Malays, owing to the economic dominance of the ethnic Chinese). Some critics have suggested this foreshadowed a later hallmark of Mahathir’s politics, which focused on the “cultivation of such emblems of power”.
From his marriage with Tun Dr. Siti Hasmah binti Haji Mohamad Ali, they have seven children, four sons and three daughters: Marina Mahathir, Mirzan Mahathir, Melinda Mahathir, Mokhzani Mahathir, Mukhriz Mahathir, Maizura Mahathir and Mazhar Mahathir.  Both Mukhriz and Mokhzani  are involved in business as well as in politics while their eldest daughter Marina is a prominent local writer and AIDS activist.
He successfully underwent a heart bypass operation in 1989 at age 63.
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- Tun Mahathir Mohamad