PETALING JAYA: Salleh Said Keruak has hit out at PPBM deputy president Mukhriz Mahathir for claiming to be embarrassed in calling himself a Malaysian when overseas, saying it is shameful of him to tell others that he is from Brunei.
The communications and multimedia minister said Mukhriz’s “confession” at being ashamed to admit his true nationality was interesting.
“Never before have we heard any Malaysians claim they are citizens of another country,” he told FMT.
He asked why Mukhriz, who is Pakatan Harapan (PH) vice-president and son of former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, chose to identify himself as being from Brunei and not another country.
“How does Mukhriz reply if someone were to ask him about Brunei’s shariah laws?
“Does he say he supports them or does he say he opposes them?
“If he supports them then why is Pakatan opposed to Act 355?”
Salleh was referring to the amendment to the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act which PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang has tabled in Parliament to enable shariah courts to mete out more severe punishments.
Mukhriz, a former Kedah menteri besar, was today reported in Sinar Harian as saying that he was embarrassed as Malaysia was now known only for the wrong reasons and not for its progress.
“Whenever I go abroad or to perform my umrah, when I’m asked which country I am from, I am embarrassed to admit that I’m from Malaysia.
“So, I just answer that I’m from Brunei,” he was reported to have said.
“If I answer that I’m from Malaysia, people would ask me why our country has so many problems when it used to be so great, but is in such a terrible state now,” he added.
Salleh, who is Umno treasurer, said Mukhriz needed to think before talking.
“Denying you are Malaysian is in essence lying. You are telling people what you are not,” he said.
“Is that not more shameful than telling people you are Malaysian?”