Dr M threatens to sue Zahid over ‘Kutty’ remarks

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Former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad has threatened to sue Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi over a statement Zahid made in 2017 questioning Mahathir’s lineage.

“I do not like to take people to court despite many having slandered me in the past because I know this is normal in politics,” he said in a blog posting today.

“This time, however, I feel the need to act.

“Zahid’s lies are nauseating. Not only do they hurt my reputation, it is dangerous to allow him to continue lying to Umno supporters and the Malays just so he can remain in power.”

In July 2017, Zahid said he was informed by the National Registration Department that Mahathir’s original name was “Mahathir a/l Iskandar Kutty”.

Although Zahid did not specifically name Mahathir, he referenced the former prime minister’s catchphrase as well as his 22 years in power.

He then accused Mahathir of only championing Malays in order to use the community to achieve his personal goals.

Mahathir acknowledged his Indian ancestry, adding that he had gone so far as to include it in his book.

He insisted, however, that he is Malay and that both his birth certificate and identity card named him as Mahathir bin Mohamad.

“I waited (to see) what proof Zahid wanted to show the people (that my name is Mahathir a/l Iskandar Kutty) but up till the end of the previous general election, there was nothing.

“According to Article 160 of the Federal Constitution, I am Malay and my struggle has been for my people. My parents were born in Tanah Melayu before Merdeka and we are all Muslims.

“When I was a child, we spoke Malay at home and we have always practised Malay customs.”

On his blog post, Mahathir also called Zahid a “compulsive liar”, saying that the Umno president’s recent lawsuit against him was nothing more than an attempt to hide his lies.

In April, it was reported that Zahid had filed a defamation suit against Mahathir for claiming that he sought the former prime minister’s help to drop his corruption charges.

“The truth is that I am bored with Zahid’s lies,” Mahathir said. “I will see him in court.”

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