This is a Malay name; the name “Mohamad” is a patronymic, not a family name, and the person should be referred to by the given name, “Mahathir”. Yang Amat Berbahagia Tun Mahathir bin Mohamad Tun Mahathir bin Mohamad (pronounced [ma? hatir bin mo? hamat? ]; born July 10, 1925) is a retired Malaysian political figure. He was the fourth Prime Minister of Malaysia. He held the post for 22 years from 1981 to 2003, making him Malaysia’s longest-serving Prime Minister, and one of the longest-serving leaders in Asia.  During his term in office, he was credited for engineering Malaysia’s rapid modernisation. 2] Mahathir is also known for his criticisms towards western and developed countries.  During his administration, he was considered to be one of Asia’s most influential leaders.  Mahathir is also noted in the Western world as an outspoken critic of Western-style globalization.  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. 8] 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). 10] 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.