Dr M in Time’s 100 Most Influential People

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Described as a formidable old warhorse, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has been listed in Time magazine’s 100 most influential people this year, following the historic election victory that swept him back to power in the May 9 polls last year.

Sarawak Report editor Clare Rewcastle-Brown, who wrote the profile summary for Dr Mahathir, described the 93-year-old as a “formidable old warhorse” who “dazzled during a gruelling campaign”.

“You don’t have to be young to fight the power.

“Venting moral outrage, the colloquially called Dr M swept back to power in a landslide election victory in May 2018 at age 92.”


Rewcastle-Brown said Dr Mahathir came out of retirement last year to lambast his former successor Datuk Seri Najib Razak, who is accused of embezzling millions of dollars from the 1MDB fund.

She said Dr Mahathir’s campaign not only gathered vast crowds, but his reliance on core values helped to unite electoral groups, and his age enabled him to gain the trust of regular Malaysians.

“Now 93, Dr Mahathir has committed to hand over power to the former leader of the opposition, (Datuk Seri) Anwar Ibrahim, 71, who he released from jail days after his victory.

“For Malaysia, the episode has re-established democracy in a country that almost teetered into totalitarianism,” she said.

The Pakatan Harapan chairman is listed in the Leaders’ category with the likes of US President Donald Trump, Chinese President Xi Jinping, Pope Francis, Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan among others.

The 100 most influential people put up by Time is a yearly list based on the votes of its readers, which was opened from March 27 until yesterday.