KUALA LUMPUR, May 5 — Fortune magazine has ranked Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad the world’s 47th greatest leader.
The global media organisation noted that Dr Mahathir reportedly displayed “autocratic” leanings during his first term of office from 1981 to 2003 under Barisan Nasional (BN), but the 93-year-old head of Pakatan Harapan (PH) was now tackling corruption and has prosecuted former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak in connection to the 1MDB financial scandal.
“Mahathir and his party are now moving to protect judicial independence and press freedom, recognising that they help keep a democracy honest,” Fortune wrote.
“At 93, Mahathir is writing an unexpected chapter in his legacy. During his first, 22-year tenure as Prime Minister, from 1981 to 2003, he turned Malaysia into one of Southeast Asia’s economic tigers, but his ornery disregard for the judiciary and the press hinted at autocratic leanings.
“Last year, he returned from seclusion to run for office on an anti-corruption platform, leading a new political party to a shocking victory over incumbent Najib Razak.”
Microsoft founder Bill Gates and his wife Melinda were ranked top of Fortune’s list of the world’s greatest leaders, followed by New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern and United States special counsel Robert Mueller at the second and third spots respectively.