PETALING JAYA: Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s allegation about former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s lineage is not only false, but is also racist and sexist, says the latter’s daughter Marina Mahathir.
“It should be Mahathir bin Mohamad because my grandfather’s name was Mohamad bin Iskandar,” she said when contacted by FMT today.
The clarification came in response to Zahid’s claim yesterday, that he had received a photo of Mahathir’s original identity card (IC) which allegedly stated his name as “Mahathir a/l Iskandar Kutty”, with the “a/l” meaning “anak lelaki”, which translates to “son of” in English.
According to Zahid, who is also the home minister, the document that was provided to him by national registration department (NRD) director-general Mohd Yazid Ramli showed that “the man who struggled for the Malay agenda” was actually “using the Malays”.
Marina condemned this statement and pointed out that her grandfather Mohamad Iskandar, was the first Malay headmaster of Sultan Abdul Hamid College in Alor Setar.
“Besides being racist, Zahid is also being sexist because apparently women don’t count in lineage, even though they’re the ones who give birth.
“My father’s mother, Wan Tempahwan came from a long line of Kedah royal household courtiers.
“My father’s paternal grandmother was also Malay, but since people didn’t keep records (then), I don’t know her name and I don’t think my Dad knew her too,” she said.
Mahathir, 92, was born more than three decades before Malaya achieved its independence.
In the now Pakatan Harapan chairman’s 2011 autobiography “A Doctor in the House: The Memoirs of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad”, he acknowledged his South Indian heritage, but said: “I am a Malay and am proud of it.”
“I am a Malay not just on paper. I am also a Malay in sentiment and in spirit.”
Meanwhile, the president of Gabungan Persatuan Malabar Malaysia, Mustafa Abdul Rahman, told FMT that he too was aware that “Iskandar” was the name of Mahathir’s late grandfather.
Mustafa said that a lot of Malaysians were the product of mixed-marriages, including Mahathir.
“Some of them, because of the mixed marriage, became more Malay than anything else.”
FMT has attempted to contact and obtain confirmation from NRD DG Yazid, but he has yet to respond.