PETALING JAYA: The Straits Times reports that all of Malaysia’s prime ministers have mixed-race parentage.
Following up on the recent allegation by Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi that Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s old identity card (IC) listed his name as “Mahathir a/l Iskandar Kutty”, the report went on to list the details pertaining to the heritage of the other prime ministers.
Under the title “Malaysian PMs: Malay and more”, the Singapore daily gave the ancestry detail of the six Malaysian prime ministers as follows:
Tunku Abdul Rahman (1957-1970)
“His father was the 25th ruler of Kedah while his mother was Siamese royalty, according to Bernama.”
Abdul Razak Hussein (1970-1976)
“He descended from one of Pahang’s highest-ranking nobles. According to historian William Linehan, the nobles have matrilineal ancestry from a Bugis chief, To’ Tuan.”
Hussein Onn (1976-1981)
“He is the son of Umno founder Onn Jaffar. A book by ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute’s Leon Comber states that his grandmother was Circassian, an ethnic group that now largely lives in Turkey.”
Dr Mahathir Mohamad (1981-2003)
“His father was a Penang Malay who had ancestors from Kerala, India.”
Abdullah Ahmad Badawi (2003-2009)
“He has Hadrami blood, according to a book printed by Utusan Publications. Hadrami was a sheikhdom that is now part of Yemen. The Star had previously reported that his maternal grandfather was a Hainanese Muslim.”
Najib Razak (2009- current)
“According to Utusan Malaysia, the son of Malaysia’s second prime minister also has Bugis lineage through his mother, whose ancestor was a Bugis chieftain in Johor.”
Last Sunday, in his address at the opening of the Kelana Jaya Umno division meeting, Zahid claimed that the national registration department (NRD) director-general Yazid Ramli had showed him the copy of Mahathir’s IC.
Referring to Mahathir, Zahid, who is also Umno acting deputy president, said that “the man who struggled for the Malay agenda” was actually “using the Malays”.
Since making the statement, Zahid has come under fire from Pakatan Harapan and PPBM, both organisations of which Mahathir is the chairman, with threats of a lawsuit against the home minister.
Mahathir loyalist and former Batu Kawan Umno division vice-chief Khairuddin Abu Hassan also filed a police report against Zahid and the NRD DG for “abusing and breaching the Personal Data Protection Act”.
The former prime minister too weighed in saying he was “shocked by Zahid’s statement as it differed from what the public knew about him”.
Mahathir also challenged Zahid to produce the identity card he had claimed to have seen.
“If he can produce it, I want to see it. Don’t hide it,” he said.