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DAP man attacks Mahathir as racist, forgetful of 'Kerala roots'

P Ramasamy also says the former prime minister embodies racism and makes veiled remarks on preacher Zakir Naik.

Staff Writers
2 minute read
Penang Deputy Chief Minister P Ramasamy. Photo: Bernama
Penang Deputy Chief Minister P Ramasamy. Photo: Bernama

DAP's P Ramasamy today continued his attack on Dr Mahathir Mohamad, this time accusing him of institutionalising racism in the country while questioning his defamation suit against Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi for remarks about his ancestry.

Ramasamy, the Penang deputy chief minister, also made a veiled reference to Dr Zakir Naik, saying the Indian Muslim preacher might be taking a cue from Mahathir.

"Maybe the infamous Muslim preacher from a foreign country might have been inspired in calling the non-Muslims or non-Malays 'guests' in the country," said Ramasamy.

In 2019, Naik responded to calls by some local non-Muslim leaders including Ramasamy for him to be deported, saying they were also guests who came to Malaysia earlier than he had.

In a statement today criticising Mahathir's recent pledge to continue fighting for Malay rights on the Putra platform, Ramasamy also referred to the defamation suit involving Umno's Zahid.

"Mahathir might have forgotten that  his descendants were foreigners from the Indian state of Kerala.

"Yet he wants to take legal action against Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi for merely pointing out his Indian ancestry."

In 2017, Zahid called Mahathir "kutty" in a speech to Umno members.

Mahathir said his father was a Penang Malay with Indian ancestry while his mother was a Kedah Malay. In his suit, which will go to trial this September, Mahathir said Zahid’s statement was made with malice and the intention of inciting hatred against him.

Ramasamy also blamed Mahathir for "institutionalising racism", accusing Malay politicians and their families of enriching themselves.

"I am sure the children and families of Malay politicians including those of Mahathir and bureaucrats reaped handsome rewards in the form of licences, permits and contracts," Ramasamy added.

"The man, Mahathir, who infamously wrote 'The Malay Dilemma', continues to remind us how racism has come to embody his mind and soul."