Tun Mahathir The Musical – A fitting tribute to Malaysia’s living legend

The story line of Tun Mahathir The Musical has been narrowed down to four main parts: his childhood, university life with Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali, the struggle for independence and his days as the country’s fourth Prime Minister.

This was the first ever musical I have attended that was based on a famous living personality.  I can’t imagine the pressure faced by the 3 actors that portray our ex-prime minister throughout the different phases of his life, especially when they are acting in front of the man himself!

When I decided to go for this musical, I really didn’t place much expectation on the entertainment value of the show. I was hoping just to catch a glimpse of the life of Malaysia’s living legend. But I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the cast, the choreography,  the vocal talents and the lighting set-up of the musical. It certainly has all the hallmarks and story line of a hit musical.

It’s amazing that a mundane life of a politician could be made into such an entertaining musical which highlights his childhood, the Japanese Invasion, the rebellion against Malayan Union, his student days in Singapore, his clinic, his involvement in UMNO, 13th May 1969, The Malay Dilemma, becoming Deputy Prime Minister, appointment as the Prime Minister, his achievement as the Prime Minister of Malaysia, his relationship with 3 of his deputies and finally his tearful resignation. Although I personally do not agree with one or two of his views, I can totally respect him for his life-long dedication and achievements for this country.

The musical will end today (4th Oct) but I do hope it could be brought back at a later date so that more Malaysian could appreciate and understand this enigmatic man. Below are some photos taken discreetly during the musical. I guess it wasn’t discreet enough as I was caught and warned twice before the intermission. So please excuse me if the photos I posted below weren’t complete. I just wouldn’t want them to eject me half way through the show.

Scene 1: Mahathir's old house at Jalan Seberang Perak, Alor Setar.

Scene 2: Mohamad and Wan Tempawan contemplating the name of their eldest son.

Scene 3: The birth of Mahathir Mohamad on Friday, 8th July 1925.

Scene 4: Mahathir as a child (Mahathir Junior role played by Mohd Shafiq Shazwan Zamrus - on bicycle).

Scene 5: Bollywood inspired singing and dancing in front of his house.

Scene 6: Fast forward a couple of years - and the young Mahathir (Young Mahathir role played by Zizan Nin) in his formative years having some fun with his friends.

Scene 7: Japanese invasion of Malaya.

Scene 8: British retreat from Malaya.

Scene 9: Japanese occupation of Malaya. Life still has to go on.

Scene 10: As the empire of the sun established itself in Malaya, people were oppressed, lives were lost and daily living was hard.

Scene 11: The enterprising young Mahathir working as a trader during the Japanese occupation in Pekan Rabu, Alor Setar.

Scene 12: So this is where Mahathir pick up his enterprising spirit which he later put to good use during his tenure as Prime Minister of Malaysia.

Scene 13: Japan surrender and the British return to Malaya

Scene 14: Mahathir has shown his leadership qualities even during his high school years.

Scene 15: His anti Malayan Union activities in Kedah.

Scene 16: His college years at King Edward VII Medical Collage in Singapore.

Scene 17: Courting Siti Hasmah who later became his wife to this day.

At this point, I was given the second warning of NO PHOTOGRAPHY by the staff of Istana Budaya and I decided to put away my camera for fear of being ejected forcefully from my seat. However I still managed to snipe a few more in between but the quality and composition were quite bad because I was shooting without looking into the view finder. I strongly recommend everyone to make a trip to witness this fantastic musical if ever they decided to do a rerun. It’s worth every Ringgit you pay and more. It’s truly entertaining and at the same time you get to learn about the life of a really great man. I learned to respect him even more after I have seen this musical.

Scene 18: The impact from the tragedy of May 13, 1969. Invisible barriers were created between the major races in Malaysia.

Scene 19: Dr. Mahathir confrontation with his 3 deputies were played out in this chapter of the musical.

Scene 20: Dr. Mahathir is one feisty politician who will not walk away from a fight easily. That's how he kept his longevity as the longest serving Prime Minister in the Malaysian political arena for a record breaking 22 years.

Scene 21: Dr. Siti Hasmah (Siti Hasmah role played by Erra Fazira) advising Dr. Mahathir (Adult Mahathir role played by Esma Daniel) on his resignation as the Prime Minister of Malaysia.

Scene 22: A symbolically sad retreat by Dr. Mahathir from the political scene in Malaysia.

Scene 23: Farewell my Prime Minister!

Scene 24: Curtain call by the cast of the highly successful musical. Well done everybody! You have made us proud. I am sure Tun Mahathir is proud of their achievement too.


  1. nice share,,,

    thanks for the sharing…

    keep posting,,see you…

  2. hello!This was a really fine theme!
    I come from roma, I was luck to search your topic in bing
    Also I get much in your blog really thank your very much i will come every day

  3. These are great photos Davie. Shows off the lighting effects that were not as prominent from the stalls.

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