“Formidable old warhorse” Mahathir named one of the 100 most influential people in 2019 by TIME

Malaysian prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad had been listed as one of TIME 100: The Most Influential People of 2019 under the “Leaders” category.

The nonagenarian earned this spot when he ousted Barisan Nasional by leading the Pakatan Harapan coalition to victory in the country’s 14th general election in May last year. The announcement was unveiled late Wednesday night (17 April).

Each influential person’s write-up is usually written by an equally influential person; for example, the profile of primatologist and conservationist Jane Goodall was written by multi-award winning actor Leonardo DiCaprio.

In Dr Mahathir’s case, his profile in Time was penned by Sarawak Report founder Clare Rewcastle Brown who described him as a “formidable old warhorse” who had “dazzled during a gruelling campaign”.

Her laudatory account began with a noteworthy statement: “You don’t have to be young to fight the power.” She corroborated this by referring to how “Dr. M swept back to power in a landslide election victory in May 2018 at age 92”.

“For Malaysia, the episode has re-established democracy in a country that almost teetered into totalitarianism,” she wrote at the end.

The Bersatu chairman was named alongside other prominent world leaders including the United States president Donald Trump, China president Xi Jinping, Israel prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern, Pope Francis, and more.

Other influential people listed in different categories included Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Ariana Grande, Sandra Oh, Michelle Obama, Mark Zuckerberg, Lebron James, Taylor Swift and so on.