Asia's Newsmaker of 1998: Mahathir Mohamad

"He gave us 16 years of tremendous development and economic progress...But history is being erased."

There is no shortage of honorifics in Malaysia, vestiges of the days of sultanates and princely kingdoms. But the man at the top, Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, is known simply as Dr. M. That rings about right: not only is Mahathir a trained physician, but as leader for the past 17 years, he has generally been brisk, modern, quick to diagnose and even readier to prescribe. In addition to crafting Malaysia's grand, national affirmative action scheme, Mahathir, who turns 73 on Dec. 20,...

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