KUALA LUMPUR: Perkasa, the Malay rights group, said Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s attack on Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s Indian ancestry was “extreme”, especially since it was made by a top government leader.
Its president, Ibrahim Ali, said Zahid apparently lost control of his emotions because he deemed the former prime minister as an enemy of Umno.
“I believe Zahid did not think it was racial as he only wanted to attack Dr Mahathir, whom he sees as the enemy of Umno, and he just used whatever came to his mind. He lost control.
“I call it using a bullet made of chalk to attack Dr Mahathir.
“Don’t use a bullet of chalk because the person you shoot at won’t die but the shooter dies, instead,” he said at a media conference at Perkasa headquarters here today.
Ibrahim said this in response to Zahid’s revelation on Sunday of Mahathir’s purported identity card showing his name as “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.
Ibrahim said Zahid should apologise to Mahathir if he wanted to clear his name.
He said Zahid, as a top government leader, needed to show exemplary conduct to Malaysians, particularly the younger generation.
“He should demonstrate characteristics of statesmanship, especially since he is the deputy prime minister.
“A government leader has the responsibility to answer all issues raised by the people, including the opposition,” he said.
Zahid, who is also the home minister, alleged at the Kelana Jaya Umno division meeting that the Pakatan Harapan (PH) chairman was “the man who struggled for the Malay agenda” once but was actually “using the Malays”.
He also said he had obtained the IC from the national registration department’s director-general Yazid Ramli.
However, Mahathir’s daughter Marina Mahathir said “Iskandar” was the name of his grandfather, not his father.
Mahathir’s political allies in PH were quick to express outrage and yesterday submitted an emergency motion in the Dewan Rakyat seeking a debate on Zahid’s conduct in exposing the personal details of Mahathir’s IC.
The motion was submitted by DAP Kulai MP Teo Nie Ching.