Former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad said he is ready to testify against UMNO President Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi over a statement he made in 2017 questioning Mahathir’s lineage.
In a series of tweets, Mahathir said Zahid had served him with a defamation suit over the remarks he made in front of Pejuang members, which had been shared on social media.
“As this will go to the court, I don’t wish to deliberate further on Zahid’s allegation,” Mahathir said on Twitter while adding that he is ready to face Zahid in court.
ZAHID PENIPU— Dr Mahathir Mohamad (@chedetofficial) May 17, 2022
1. Saya disaman Dato Seri Zahid Hamidi kononnya saya memfitnah beliau berkaitan beberapa pertemuannya dengan saya semasa saya menjadi Perdana Menteri Kerajaan Pakatan Harapan.
Mahathir continues saying that he is “fed up with Zahid’s attitude” and claims that Zahid is only using the legal channel to cover his lies.
“Zahid is a liar. White-man describes this behaviour as a compulsive liar,” he said.
He then recalled Zahid’s allegation against him that he is not a person of Malay ethnicity.
In 2017, Zahid claimed that he had sighted Mahathir’s identification card, but his name was written as Mahathir a/l Iskandar Kutty. Zahid then suggested that Mahathir lied about his race.
Mahathir denied those claims and said this is merely a political ploy by Zahid to depict him as an ethnic Indian that had lied and used the Malays for 22 years when he was in office.
Meanwhile, Mahathir admitted that he has Indian ethnicity in his heritage bloodline, but he insists that he is indeed a Muslim practising Malay by birth and through the definition of the Malaysian Constitution.
“My parents are born in the Tanah Melayu before Merdeka and we are all Muslims. Ever since I was a kid, we spoke Bahasa Melayu and practice the Malay culture and traditions in our home.” he said.
Mahathir then said he does not like to bring people to court despite many having slandered him in the past as he understands that anything goes in politics. However, he is considering taking Zahid to court.
“This time, however, I feel the need to act. Zahid’s lies are nauseating. Not only do they hurt my reputation, but it is also dangerous to allow him to continue lying to UMNO supporters and the Malays just so he can remain in power.” he said.
He also challenged Zahid to prove his claims that he is not Malay or apologise for questioning his race and identity. If Zahid fails to do so, then he will bring this matter to the court.