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Abdul Rahman, Tunku (1902–1990), prime minister of Malaysia, was born in Alor Setar, Kedah (a Malay state then under British ‘protection’), on 8 February 1902, the seventh son of Abdul Hamid Halim Shah, sultan of Kedah (fl. 1882–1943), and his Thai wife, ...

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Aung San (1915–1947), politician in Burma, was born on 13 February 1915 at Natmauk, a small town in the Magwe district of central Burma, the youngest of nine children of U Pha, lawyer, and his wife, Daw Su. A sickly child but a gifted student, he was educated as a novice in a Buddhist monastic school and then at a high school to which he won a government scholarship. He was already interested in politics and adept at public speaking when he went to ...

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Lee Kuan Yew, Harry (1923–2015), prime minister of Singapore, was born in Singapore on 16 September 1923, the eldest son of Lee Chin Koon (1903–1977) and Chua Jim Neo (1907–1980). His parents were from a Straits Chinese family descended from Chinese of the Hakka dialect group. The Straits Chinese were Chinese that had been settled in the region for many years, in the process adopting the Malay language and adapting to colonial institutions. The family was wealthy, but ...

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Lini, Walter Hadye (1942–1999), chief minister of the New Hebrides and prime minister of Vanuatu, was born at Agatoa village on the island of Pentecost, New Hebrides, and came from a line of chiefs on both his father's and mother's sides. His parents were Anglicans and his father was known for his skill as a carpenter and for the importance he placed on educating his children. ...

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Nazimuddin, Khwaja (1894–1964), chief minister of Bengal and governor-general and prime minister of Pakistan, was born on 19 July 1894 in Dacca, Bengal, the son of Khwaja Nazimuddin, landowner, and his wife, Nawabzadi Bilkis Banu. His maternal grandfather was Khwaja Ahsanullah, nawab of Dacca...

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Ne Win (1911–2002), military ruler of Burma, was born Shu Maung on 14 May 1911 in Paungdale, central Burma, the son of Po Kha, a revenue surveyor, and his wife, Mi Le. His father's home was said to be a frequent stop for touring nationalist politicians despite his employment by the British colonial government. Having attended ...