University of Nottingham
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Dato' Sri Haji Mohammad Najib bin Tun Haji Abdul Razak is the sixth and current Prime Minister of Malaysia. He was sworn in to the position on 3 April 2009 to succeed Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. He is the President of the United Malays National Organisation, the leading party in Malaysia's ruling Barisan Nasional coalition.
Razak is the eldest son of Abdul Razak Hussein, Malaysia's second Prime Minister, and the nephew of Hussein Onn, Malaysia's third. He received his primary and secondary education in Kuala Lumpur. He later attended Malvern College in Worcestershire, England, and subsequently went to the University of Nottingham, where he received a bachelor's degree in industrial economics in 1974. Najib Razak returned to Malaysia in 1974 and entered the business world, serving briefly in Bank Negara (Central Bank) and later with Petronas (Malaysia's national oil company) as a public affairs manager.
In 1976 Razak was selected to run for the seat in parliament left vacant by his father's death. The national outpouring of grief following Tun Razak's death and the respect for his father helped Najib win election unopposed as Member of Parliament at the very young age of 23. Razak was first assigned into the Cabinet of Malaysia at the age of 25 when he was appointed Deputy Minister of Energy, Telecommunications and Post in 1978, becoming the youngest deputy minister in the country. He served as the Menteri Besar (Chief Minister) of Pahang between 1982 and 1986, becoming the youngest Menteri Besar in the state to enter office when he was sworn in at the age of 29. In 1986 he was appointed as Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports in the Cabinet of Mahathir Mohamad. He focused on improving Malaysian sports and introduced the National Sports Policy in 1988. In 1989 Malaysia achieved its best-ever performance at the South East Asia (SEA) Games, held in Kuala Lumpur.
Razak served in various Cabinet posts throughout the remainder of the 1980s and 1990s, including as Minister for Defence and Minister for Education. He became Deputy Prime Minister on 7 January 2004, serving under Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, before replacing Badawi a year after Barisan Nasional suffered heavy losses in the 2008 election.
Razak's tenure as Prime Minister has been marked by economic liberalisation measures, such as cuts to government subsidies, loosening of restrictions on foreign investment, and reductions in preferential measures for ethnic Malays in business. His Barisan Nasional coalition was re-elected at the 2013 election, albeit with a reduced majority due in large part to a substantial movement of urban voters to opposition parties. After the election his government was marked by the pursuit of a number of its critics on sedition charges and the imprisonment of opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim following a conviction for sodomy.