PETALING JAYA: Deputy Home Minister Nur Jazlan Mohamed has denied officially confirming that Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s real name was actually “Mahathir a/l Iskandar Kutty”.
“I never said the name. I just said you can refer to his (Mahathir’s) university records, or any pre-Merdeka records to confirm how he registered his name before,” he said in a text message to FMT.
He also shared with FMT an article from The Straits Times dated June 21, 1953, in which Mahathir’s name was clearly stated as “Mahathir b Mohd Iskandar”.
The article, headlined “34 New Doctors”, listed the names of those who had obtained provisional passes in medicine-related papers by Universiti Malaya for the 1952 and 1953 sessions. Mahathir’s name was on the list.
“All I am saying is that the records go back a long time, before Merdeka and after Merdeka.
“It is not uncommon for the records to be inconsistent over that period,” said Nur Jazlan, who is the MP for Pulai.
“That announcement was a public record in 1952. That means his IC (identity card) name could have been changed later.
“His name has been recorded differently over the years. We all know him as Mahathir Mohamad, but in 1952 it was recorded with ‘Iskandar’.”
Nur Jazlan was denying reports that he had confirmed the name of “Mahathir a/l Iskandar Kutty”, which Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi claimed was the former prime minister’s full and correct name.
He was reported to have said there were many sources with which one could verify the name of the PPBM and Pakatan Harapan chairman, such as his university records.
“I never confirmed the name. I just said it could have changed over the years,” he said when asked about his earlier statement.
Zahid, who is also home minister and Umno acting deputy president, has been widely criticised for making public on Sunday, that the name on Mahathir’s IC was recorded as “a/l Iskandar Kutty” instead of “Mohamad”.
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 said he had obtained a copy of the IC from the National Registration Department’s director-general Yazid Ramli.
However, Mahathir yesterday explained that Indian Muslims did not include the “anak lelaki” (a/l) or “anak perempuan” (a/p) (daughter of) in their names, which normally comprised only two components since two Indian Muslim names were rarely similar.
He also challenged Zahid to produce the IC that carried the alleged name so it could be verified.
Mahathir’s eldest daughter, Marina, also negated Zahid’s claim, saying that Iskandar was not Mahathir’s father, but grandfather.
“My grandfather’s name was Mohamad bin Iskandar, but some people thought the Mohamad was just a pre-name, hence the school named after him is Iskandar School,” she said to FMT on Monday.
FMT’s repeated calls and text messages to Yazid have gone unanswered.