PETALING JAYA: Dr Mahathir Mohamad says his old identity card (IC) that Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi claimed to have seen an image of, does not exist with the National Registration Department (NRD).
The former prime minister said he had not returned his old IC to the NRD when the new card was issued to him, putting into question how Zahid had obtained an image of the card from NRD director-general Yazid Ramli.
“The name as mentioned by Zahid Hamidi does not exist,” the 92-year-old, who is chairman of Pakatan Harapan and PPBM, said.
“If the old identity card has the name which was cited as mine before, please present the card for inspection by experts to validate Zahid’s allegation,” he said in a blog post today.
Zahid, who is acting Umno deputy president, said at a Kelana Jaya Umno division meeting on Sunday that Mahathir’s old blue-coloured IC carried the name “Mahathir a/l Iskandar Kutty”.
The “a/l” stands for “anak lelaki” which in Malay means “son of”. It is commonly used in the official naming of Malaysians of Indian ethnicity.
Zahid also said that “the man who struggled for the Malay agenda” was actually “using the Malays”, adding that Yazid had given him the image of Mahathir’s IC.
Mahathir however said the use of “a/l” and “a/p” (“anak perempuan” or “daughter of”) in Indian names was so the father’s name could be added as many Indians of the Hindu faith had the same name.
He said during the British colonial period, Indian workers were labelled with numbers like “Maniam 1” and “Maniam 2”.
However, this practice was considered insulting and replaced with the use of “a/l” and “a/p” after independence, he added.
He also explained that Indian Muslims never used the ‘a/l’ or ‘a/p’ because their names usually consisted of only two components and were rarely similar to those of other Indian Muslims.