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Study abroad : Subject Guides

Malaysian Prime Ministers and their educational background

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Our Malaysian Prime Ministers are recognised for their strong leadership qualities and far-sighted vision. If you hope to become just like them, follow in their educational footsteps. Clearly, their solid educational background has contributed greatly to their characters.

Tunku Abdul Rahman

  • MP for Kuala Muda fom 1903-1990
  • Held the office for 4770 days
  • Went to a Malay elementary school in Alor Setar, Debsirin School in Bangkok and Penang Free School
  • Tunku Abdul Rahman secured a scholarship to study at St Catherine’s College, Cambridge University where he received his Bachelor of Arts in law and history. A firsthand experience in racial discrimination was said to have intensified his conviction in fighting for equality and ignited his desire in making his homeland an independent state.

Abdul Razak Hussein

  • MP for Pekan from 1922-1976
  • He secured a scholarship and left for Britain to study law where he received a Degree of Utter Barrister from Lincoln’s Inn. During his study days in England, he was a member of the British Labour Party and a prominent student leader of the Kesatuan Melayu Great Britain. He also formed the Malayan Forum, an organisation for Malaysian students to discuss their country’s political issues.

Hussein Onn

  • MP for Johor Timur from 1922-1990
  • Held office for 2010 days
  • He received his early education in Singapore. He went on to London to study law at Lincoln’s Inn, qualifying as a Barrister-at-Law. He came back as a certified lawyer and practised in Kuala Lumpur.

Mahathir Mohamad

  • MP for Kubang Pasu
  • Held office for 8142 days
  • Mahathir’s first love was law but he decided not to pursue this interest. With a government scholarship, he travelled to Singapore to study medicine as there were not many doctors in Malaysia then. Upon graduation, he returned to his hometown where he worked at the Alor Setar General Hospital before starting his own practice.

Abdullah Ahmad Badawi

  • MP for Kepala Batas
  • Held office for 1981 days
  • From Penang, Abdullah received his early education at Sekolah Kebangsaan Pematang Bertam and later attended Bukit Mertajam High School, Penang Methodist Boys’ School and a religious school. He then pursued his tertiary education at the University of Malaya where he graduated with BA (Hons) in Islamic Studies.

Najib Razak

  • MP for Pekan
  • Held office for 1836 days and counting
  • He attended secondary education at the Malvern Boys’ College in Worcestershire, England. He then enrolled at the University of Nottingham and graduated in industrial economics.


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