Mahathir s/o Iskandar Kutty @ Mahathir bin Mohamed

Tun Dr Mahathir bin Mohamed whose real name is Mahathir s/o Iskandar Kutty is a figure who needs no introduction. He is the fourth Prime Minister of Malaysia which he held for 22 years. From 1981 to 2003, he is the country's longest serving Prime Minister as well as in the whole of Asia.

Mahathir was born on December 20, 1925, in Alor Star, the capital of the northern state of Kedah. His father was a school teacher of Indian origin, specifically Malayalee (people who speak Malayalam, not to be confused with Malay), having migrated from the southern state of Kerala, India, while his mother was a Malay.

Despite being only half Malay and having acknowledged his Indian heritage, Mahathir generally considers himself to be Malay, and is known for the use of fiery rhetoric designed to invoke feelings of Malay nationalism, most recently using the term Ketuanan Melayu, or "Malay Supremacy/Lordship" to argue that the Malays were losing out to the minority Chinese and Indian races after the Barisan Nasional coalition's relatively poor showing in Malaysia's 12th general election.

Dr M's political involvement is filled with events and significance where he started being active in 1945. He joined the Umno (United Malays National Organization) in 1946.

He was first elected into the Parliament in the 1964 general elections via the Kota Setar Selatan seat more than 60% majority votes. The following elections (1969)saw him losing the seat by 989 votes after declaring that he did not need to win through Chinese votes. After the riots that took place in 13 May 1969, Dr M publicly criticized the Prime Minister then Tunku Abdul Rahman, for favouring the Chinese in handling his government which led to the riots. For doing that, he was expelled from Umno.

Some of the more controversial happenings under his leadership include removing of the veto power and the royal immunity from prosecution. Before he took on this action, passing of any bill of law required royal consent but with what he took on, royal assent is considered legal after a 30 days period.

He was also known to be responsible for the removal of Tun Salleh Abas, the Lord President of the Supreme Court together with 3 other supreme court justices prior to the investigation of misconduct hearing of Umno, the party that he is also the president.

Mahathir has announced that he has resigned from UMNO, the backbone of the ruling party, the Barisan National on 19 May 2008 which coincides with the Wesak Day celebration. This decision has sent the politic scenario in Malaysia to wilderness.


Paul said...

dear writer:
good piece. just have two questions?
how or why did mahathir s/o iskandar kutty become mahathir bin mohamed?

where did the "mohamed" came from since his father does not carry that name?

Diversity Dude said...

I am non-Muslim. It may be possible that most of the beneficiaries of scholarships are Malays. But most of the have-nots are Malays too. We want a no Malaysian left behind Malaysia. Both Malays and non-Malays have to live in Malaysia. We should not take a tough stand. The art of compromising is just as important. So, read on.

Even a journey of a thousand miles starts with one step. If I may add a right step, please read on.

There is a quest for equality by non-Malays on the one hand and there is a fear of losing their special status among Malays on the other hand. So we have to reach a happy medium.

Many decades ago, the Muslim Malays were mostly sarong-clad; and at that time, when any Muslim Malay broke ranks and wore long pants and shirt, he would be considered pro-Western and thus a traitor by the Muslim Malay community. Later on, even if you ate burgers and hot dogs, you risk being branded pro-Western and a traitor. Today, Malaysia, the country of my birth, is on the verge of becoming a developed nation. Unfortunately, the Malays do not credit the non-Malays adequately for their contribution to Malaysia’s growth and development. I, personally, have helped to build a hydro-electric dam in Perak, which will out live me. It was in the early 1980’s. The dam will continue to give out electricity to many generations to come. The photographs I took of the dam building continue to be my pride and joy. Like all construction industry, some workers died. Yes, I have served Malaysia in my own way. I am almost inclined to call the dam, my dam. Yes, it is my dam. It’s my gift to Malaysia. Despite that, I never asked for first class citizenship status. I only asked for religious equality. I only asked for changing faith is an inviolable human right. Some Malays feel that since they gave citizenship to non-Malays, the non-Malays must be willing to accept second-class status. My position is that, I am willing to accept second or whatever class status provided we separate Malay from Islam. We must be allowed to espouse secularism and liberalism. We have to recognize secularism and liberalism as another faith. Islam has no right to have a special status in Malaysia. No religion has the right to use political power and enforcement. Religions no longer have a monopoly over truth and knowledge. Changing faith is an inviolable human right.

It is pretty obvious that we have to increase the bi-racial population of Malaysia in order to stabilize the nation. Increasing the bi-racial population has nothing to do with political power. However, the politicians can remove obstacles to increase the bi-racial population. The obstacle is the special status for Islam in Malaysia. Currently, if Muslims and non-Muslims want to marry, then both have to convert to Islam or leave the country. This is the obstacle. If Muslim Malaysians are allowed to leave Islam, then there may be more marriages between Muslims and non-Muslims. Changing faith is an inviolable human right. If we support changing faith is an inviolable human right, then we are supporting Bangsa Malaysia.

In addition there is another matter to deal with. We do have, in Malaysia, a Department of Religious Affairs, but it is exclusively for Islam. Islam has no right to have a special status in Malaysia. To counterbalance the Department of Islamic Affairs, we now need a Department of non-Muslim Affairs. The Islamic issues can be taken care of by the Department of Religious Affairs, while the Department of non-Muslim Affairs will take care of issues regarding non-Muslims. Then, both Muslims and non-Muslims can co-exist. You see, I never asked for first class status. I only asked for religious equality.

We may need a constitutional amendment to create two kinds of Malays: Muslim Malays and non-Muslim Malays.

Step by step the non-Malays should claim full citizenship rights. In the mean time, most of the PSD scholarships should continue to be given to the have-nots, who are mostly the Malays and the natives of Sabah and Sarawak. This is the art of compromise.

By the way, there are advantages for being bi-racial. Many bi-racials have gotten ahead. In fact, Dr.Mahathir is bi-racial. Apparently his birth name is Mahathir s/o Iskandar Kutty. Please do go to website and read a posting entitled Mahathir s/o Iskandar Kutty @ Mahathir bin Mohamed. There is another posting in the same website to read entitled The Indian-Muslim opportunists in Umno

Yes, there are advantages for being bi-racial, and some of them have gotten ahead.

Anonymous said...

genealogy follows:

iskandar kutty of malabar
- migrated kerala, india to penang in 1800s
- married local malay woman and fathered

mohammed s/o (bin) iskandar b.1800s
- constituionally with malay rights
- migrated penang to kedah
- english teacher then principal of english school in kedah
- married local malay woman and fathered

mahathir s/o (bin) mohamad b.1925
- constitutionally with malay rights
- married local malay
- became 4th PM of Malaysia

Anonymous said...

So does that mean if I marry a Malay girl today, my children in future will be "true blood MALAYS"?

Anonymous said...

my great grandfather also came from india and he was also an indian muslim.when he arrived in malaya he married an indian woman and my grandfather was both my great grandfather and my grandfather were indian muslim.but now my family are all malays because my grandmother was a malay grandfather and my great grandfather has the utmost respect for the malay culture and the malay people.when we are in somebody's land we have to respect the natives just like what my great grandfather and grandfather did.the result is they the natives in return respect them.just imagine if a migrant malay in india do not respect the custom,religion,culture and position of native indian, the native indian would be angry too.the malays are gentle and kind hearted people, respect their religion,sensitivity and culture.i guarantee if you do,they will return the favour.

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Malaysian Indian Ethnic Cleansing by UMNO led government