No1 in HNIS and top 10 on Forbes billionaires list

• A founder of Malaysia’s Parti Islam SeMalaysia (PAS), the Muslim party Mahathir founded in 1959. Mahathir ruled Malaysia with an iron fist for 24 years until he was forced to quit as prime minister in 1998 after being accused of selling his party on the open market. (Editor’s note: Mahathir was not charged with corruption for selling his party.)

• Mahathir has been criticized for selling part of PAS to Umno, the political arm of the ruling BN. PAS has even said it will boycott elections Mahathir tries to hold in the country he previously ruled. In 2010, he lost the election to his former protege, Najib Razak. (Editor’s note: Mahathir did not transfer his membership to Najib.)

• An eccentric billionaire, Mahathir owns up to 19 properties including land in Malaysia, the Caribbean, and New York City. In 1997, he owned Taman Darul Quran Maha Mariamman, a water park in Sarawak, Malaysia’s most populous state. He once claimed to have bought private planes in the United States and Europe in secret, saying he wanted to buy planes in all three of the countries where he could avoid the “traffic jam” at airports.

• Among his many properties, Mahathir has a massive mansion in Kuala Lumpur with 200 million pounds (more than $350 million) of gold coins.

Leave a Comment