PETALING JAYA: Khairuddin Abu Hassan has rubbished an assertion by Deputy Home Minister Nur Jazlan Mohamed that disclosing details of Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s old identity card (IC) is a non-issue.
The former Batu Kawan Umno division vice-chief said if that was the case, he could then ask for a copy of Nur Jazlan’s own IC for his private use.
“If the deputy home minister says there is no issue since it (Mahathir’s IC) is a matter of public record, can I request for a copy of his identity card for my personal keeping?” Khairuddin said.
He also asked if Nur Jazlan meant that it was acceptable for any individual to divulge someone else’s personal information, which was subject to the Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA), openly on a political stage.
“For me this is not only unethical but also wrong in the eyes of the law because a public officer cannot leak personal data arbitrarily,” the coordinator of the Deklarasi Rakyat movement said in a statement today.
Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, who is acting Umno deputy president, revealed at the Kelana Jaya Umno division meeting yesterday that Mahathir’s identity card (IC) carried the name “Mahathir a/l Iskandar Kutty”.
The “a/l” stands for “anak lelaki” which in Malay means “son of”, and is commonly used in the official naming of Malaysians of Indian ethnicity.
Zahid also said that Mahathir, who is Pakatan Harapan chairman, was “the man who struggled for the Malay agenda” once but was actually “using the Malays”.
He also revealed he had received the image of the former prime minister’s IC from National Registration Department (NRD) director-general Yazid Ramli.
In defending Zahid’s actions, Nur Jazlan today said the information was of public record and not classified under the Official Secrets Act.
“I see it as public record. It is not an issue,” he was quoted as saying by The Star.
Khairuddin however lodged a report against Zahid and Yazid for allegedly leaking Mahathir’s personal information to the public.
He said a Malaysian citizen’s personal information under the PDPA should not be misused by others, especially in this age of information technology where cyber-crimes were common.
He added that it would be better for Nur Jazlan to step down from his position in the home ministry if he did not understand the country’s law.