PETALING JAYA: PPBM deputy president Mukhriz Mahathir says he is proud to be Malaysian.
He said he was proud of Malaysia’s success since achieving independence in 1957 but was angry at how the success was being destroyed now.
“Recently, I was accused of not being patriotic because I was apparently ashamed of admitting that I am a Malaysian. There is no truth to that accusation.
“I want to stress that I am happy to call myself a Malaysian.
“I love being a Malaysian citizen but I am angry when Malaysia’s reputation is tarnished throughout the world,” he said in a video posted on Facebook today.
Mukhriz, a former Kedah menteri besar, was 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.
The remarks attributed to Mukhriz prompted Communications and Multimedia Minister Salleh Said Keruak to hit out at him, saying it was shameful of the PPBM leader to tell others that he was from Brunei.
Salleh said Mukhriz’s “confession” at being ashamed to admit his true nationality was interesting.
“Never before have we heard any Malaysian claiming they are citizens of another country,” he had 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 said he was sick of ministers and other senior leaders in government who continued to defend wrongdoings which he claimed had burdened the people.
“I want to stress that I am happy to call myself a Malaysian but sad to see the people having to cope with the rising cost of living because of the GST (goods and services tax).
“I am willing to defend Malaysia with my life but I am angry when the country’s sovereignty is pawned.”