KUALA LUMPUR, June 11 — Contrary to persistent rumours, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said today that he is Malay and not half Indian by dint of his father.
“My father is not Indian. Originally, my great, great grandfather is Indian. There are few spoonfuls of blood left in my body, but otherwise, I am a Malay,” he said in an interview broadcast live from Tokyo, Japan where he is attending the 24th Nikkei Conference.
The question on his Indian roots arose when he was asked how he would manage trade ties with the Asian subcontinent and China, to which Dr Mahathir said Malaysia is “friendly with all countries”.
He explained that Malaysia believes in having friendly trade ties with all countries because they are a good market.
Dr Mahathir’s lineage has emerged time and again over the years, most recently during campaigning for the May 9 general election campaigning.
Several Barisan Nasional leaders, including Datuk Seri Najib Razak and Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi had made glib and derogatory references to Dr Mahathir based on his ancestry.