PETALING JAYA: Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s press secretary says the deputy prime minister’s act of disclosing alleged details about Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s old identity card (IC) has been sensationalised and his true intentions, misunderstood.
In a report by Sinar Harian today, Ibrahim Yahya said Zahid’s message was that Umno should not be used as a tool for self-interest as Mahathir, who was prime minister and Umno president from 1981 to 2003, had allegedly done.
“Zahid said Mahathir used Umno for his own interests and those of his family, and after he had used (the party), he joined the opposition,” Ibrahim said.
“In fact, he conspired with the DAP which was his sworn enemy before.”
He said Zahid was not surprised at Mahathir’s attitude because the PPBM and Pakatan Harapan chairman was not originally Malay as his family was from Kerala in India.
He added that Zahid’s statements had been blown out of proportion by Mahathir’s staunch supporters and other opportunists over social media.
During a recent Umno division meeting, Zahid, who is acting Umno deputy president, told delegates present 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 had said that “the man who struggled for the Malay agenda” was actually “using the Malays”. He also said he had received a copy of Mahathir’s IC from National Registration Department director-general Yazid Ramli
Ibrahim was quoted by Sinar Harian as saying that certain quarters had since manipulated the issue to allege that Zahid was insulting “mamaks” or Indian Muslims in general.
“They are wrong because what came under criticism was only Mahathir’s relations with the Malays, as well as his current attitude towards Umno,” he said.
Ibrahim said Zahid was only trying to make a point that Mahathir’s attitude was not characteristic of a true Malay and that the 92-year-old behaved that way only because he was not a pure Malay.
Zahid’s statements however have triggered police reports by Kedah DAP legal bureau member Zulhazmi Shariff, and former Batu Kawan Umno division vice-chief Khairuddin Abu Hassan. Members of PPBM Youth meanwhile staged a protest against Zahid outside Parliament House on Tuesday.
Khairuddin urged Mahathir to take legal action against Zahid and Yazid for abusing their power and breaching the Personal Data Protection Act by leaking Mahathir’s personal information to the public.