Tun Abdul Razak succeeded Tunku Abdul Rahman as the second Prime Minister of Malaysia, heading the country from 1970 to 1976.
Born in Pulau Keladi, Pahang on March 11, 1922, Tun Razak is the only child to Dato' Hussein bin Mohd Taib and Hajah Teh Fatimah bt Daud. A bright student, Tun Razak received his early education at the Malay College Kuala Kangsar in 1934.
After joining the Malay Administrative Service in 1939, he was awarded a scholarship to study at Raffles College in Singapore in 1940. His studies at the college ceased with the onset of the Second World War.
With a Malayan Union scholarship, Tun Razak left for Britain in 1947 to study law. In 1950 he received a Degree of an Utter Barrister from Lincoln's Inn. During his student days in England, Tun Razak was a member of the British Labour Party and a prominent student leader of the Kesatuan Melayu Great Britain (Malay Association of Great Britain). He also formed the Malayan Forum, an organisation for Malayan students to discuss their country's political issues.
Upon his return, Tun Razak joined the Malayan Civil Service. Owing to his political caliber, in 1950 he became the youth chief for United Malays National Organisation (UMNO). Two years later, he worked as the Assistant State Secretary of Pahang and in February 1955, at just 33 years of age, became Pahang's Chief Minister. He stood in and won the country's first general elections in July 1955 and was appointed as the Education Minister. Tun Razak was also a member of the February 1956 mission to London to seek the independence of Malaya from the British.
After the general elections in 1959, he became the Minister of Rural Development in addition to holding the portfolios of Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence. His achievements include formulating the development policy known as the Red Book. On September 1970, Tun Razak succeeded Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra as the Prime Minister of Malaysia.
Tun Razak is also renowned for launching the New Economic Policy (NEP) in 1971. He and the "second generation" of Malay politicians saw the need to tackle vigorously the economic and social disparities which fuelled racial antagonism. The NEP set two basics goals - to reduce and eventually eradicate poverty, and to reduce and eventually eradicate identification of economic function with race.
Tun Razak set up the National Front on January 1, 1973 to replace the ruling Alliance Party. He increased the membership of its parties and coalitions in an effort to establish "Ketahanan Nasional" (National Strength) through political stability.
For his contributions in the area of national and rural development, Tun Abdul Razak is known as the Father of Development.