Malaysia Chronicle

Zahid raised racial issues, damaged my reputation, says Dr M

KUALA LUMPUR: Former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad has claimed that Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi had deliberately raised racial issues and damaged his reputation as an influential political figure in the eyes of the world.

In his Sept 8 reply to Zahid’s statement of defence, Mahathir also said his ancestry did not make him less Malay or non-Malay.

“This was brought up by the defendant (Zahid) only after I was no longer with Umno, which clearly shows the defendant’s motives and bad intentions,” Mahathir said.

Mahathir filed a lawsuit against Zahid on July 20 for allegedly issuing defamatory statements regarding the “Kutty” issue.

The Langkawi MP also claimed that the former deputy prime minister had malice in mind when he slandered him by calling him “Mahathir son of Iskandar Kutty” without making any inquiry into his background or ancestry.

Mahathir claimed that the defendant had also failed to take appropriate and reasonable measures to obtain an explanation from him before making the slanderous statement.

In his statement of claim, Mahathir said Zahid had issued a defamatory statement against him during an Umno divisional meeting in Kelana Jaya on July 30, 2017, and that the statement was reproduced on Astro Awani’s YouTube channel and several online news portals which could be accessed by internet users without any restrictions.

He claimed the slanderous statement, with the alleged original name of “Mahathir son of Iskandar Kutty”, meant he was not born as a Malay or a Muslim and that he had only claimed to be a Malay when he became prime minister to gain political and personal advantage. He said it also belittled Malaysians of Indian Muslim descent.

Meanwhile, Zahid, in his statement of defence filed on Aug 17, denied that the statement made on July 30, 2017 was malicious and done to slander and harm the reputation of the plaintiff in the public eye.

The Umno president claimed that the name “Mahathir son of Iskandar Kutty” referred to an individual based on the information in an old copy of an identity card. He also said he had no control over any video publication regarding his statement.

Mahathir’s counsel Mior Nor Haidir Suhaimi said another case management had been fixed for Nov 7. Online proceedings were held before deputy registrar Nor Afidah Idris.



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