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Palgrave Macmillan

Malaysian Maverick

Mahathir Mohamad in Turbulent Times

Edition 2nd edition
ISBN 9781137003119
Publication Date April 2012
Formats Ebook (PDF) Paperback Ebook (EPUB) 
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan
Series Critical Studies of the Asia-Pacific

The grandson of an Indian immigrant and the first Malay commoner to become prime minister of Malaysia, Mahathir Mohamad turned the Muslim-majority Southeast Asian country into one of the developing world's most successful economies. During his 22 years in power he adopted pragmatic economic policies alongside repressive political measures, and showed that Islam was compatible with representative government and modernization. Abrasive and outspoken, Mahathir emerged as a Third World champion and Islamic spokesman by condemning the West, not least for trying to impose liberal democracy and neo-liberal economics on developing nations. By raising living standards and winning international acclaim, he contributed to a sense of national identity, pride and confidence among ethnically diverse Malaysians. But in mixing business and politics, Mahathir encouraged cronyism and failed to prevent the spread of corruption. Authoritarian and impatient, he jailed opponents, sacked rivals and undermined institutions as he pursued his obsession with development. In retirement, he broke a promise to stay out of politics, falling out with his two successors while using all available means to protect his legacy.

BARRY WAIN, a former editor of the Asian Wall Street Journal, was Writer-in-Residence at the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies in Singapore. An Australian journalist who lived in Asia fornearly 40years, he was author of The Refused, an account of the refugee outflow from Indochina after the Vietnam War.

Politicized by War and Peace
An Early Introduction to Brutal Politics
From Outcast to Presidential Premier
The Vision of a Modern Nation
A Volatile Mix of Business and Politics
Scandal, What Scandal?
Big, Bigger, Bust
An Uncrowned King
The Perils of a Pragmatic Islam
A Strident Voice for the Third World
The Destruction of a Designated Heir
A Bare-Knuckle Brawl over One Man's Legacy
A Place in History


'Balanced, comprehensive and nuanced study ... the seminal study of dr. Mahathir.' – Prof. Hal Hill, The Wall Street Journal Asia
'Wain's fascinating account is filled with startling revelations and plenty of previously undisclosed material.' – David Plott, Global Asia
'Riveting, thought-provoking, if not disquieting ... The most remarkable thing is that it is not fiction.' – Dr. Maznah Mohamad, Aliran Monthly
'Balanced and honest ... it reads like a thriller. One just cannot stop reading.' – Yusuf Wanandi, The Jakarta Post'Brings the complexity of the character alive through layers of convincing and meticulous detail.' – Rowan Callick, The Australian
'The government eventually released the [1st edition] after five months of scrutiny by the Home Ministry and as such, no legal action was taken by Wain. The book became a best-seller in both Malaysia and Singapore, hitting the No 1 spot in both countries and being reprinted in hard cover nine times within seven months.' - Malaysiakini
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