Tun Abdullah bin Haji Ahmad Badawi became the 5th Prime Minister of Malaysia on 31 October 2003.
Born on 26 November 1939 in Kampung Perlis, Bayan Lepas, Pulau Pinang, Tun Abdullah received his early education at Sekolah Kebangsaan Pematang Bertam. He later attended Bukit Mertajam High School, Penang Methodist Boys’ School and a religious school started by his family. Tun Abdullah pursued his tertiary education at the University of Malaya where he graduated with B.A.(Hons) in Islamic studies in 1964.
Upon graduating, Tun Abdullah joined the civil service, where he started his career as Assistant Secretary in the Public Services Department in 1964. In 1969, Tun Abdullah moved to the National Operation Council (NOC) or Majlis Gerakan Negara (MAGERAN), a body responsible to exercise the ruling powers for the country after the May 1969 racial riots. Tun Abdullah was later promoted to the Ministry of Culture, Youth & Sports as Director General (1971-1973) and Deputy Secretary General in 1974.
Tun Abdullah resigned from Government service in 1978 to pursue a political career. A loyal UMNO member since 1965, he was elected UMNO Supreme Council Member in 1981, and UMNO Vice President in 1984, 1987, 1990 and 1996. Tun Abdullah became UMNO Deputy President in 2000.
Tun Abdullah won his first election for the Parliamentary seat of the Kepala Batas constituency in 1978, (a seat he has retained since). In the same year, Tun Abdullah was appointed to his first post in the administration of the Government of Malaysia, as the Parliamentary Secretary to the Federal Territory Ministry. Tun Abduulah was then promoted to Deputy Minister in the same Ministry in 1980. Tun Abdullah later held the post of Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department from 1981 to 1984; and Minister of Education from 1984 to 1986; Minister of Defence from 1986 to 1987; and Minister of Foreign Affairs from 15 March 1991 to 1999. In January 1999, Tun Abdullah was appointed as the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Home Affairs. Tun Abdullah is also the Minister of Defence.
Tun Abdullah married the late Datin Seri Endon Dato' Mahmood in 1965 and after 40 years of marriage, lost her after a prolonged battle with cancer on 20 October 2005. They have 2 children and 5 grandchildren. Tun Abdullah married Datin Seri Jeanne Abdullah on 9 June 2007. Datin Seri Jeanne has two daughters.
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