MIC deputy president G Palanivel told off Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad “to remember his own (Indian/Mamak) roots”.
Palanivel is referring to the fact that Mahathir’s forefathers are from South India in Kerala state.
Mahathir’s 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, while his mother was a Malay.
Kerala, India Homeland of Dr. Mahathir’s fore-fathers
In his blog, Dr Mahathir Mohamad had accused MIC chief S Samy Vellu of being a racist.
“In sympathising with Hindraf, Samy exposes his deep racist sentiments. … Hindraf represents Tamil racists who still look to their old masters, the British, to protect them. They don’t believe in Malaysian institutions.
And they speak not just of Indians but of Tamils as a separate race. They and their apologists are racist to the core.”
Palanivel said that the former prime minister’s comments on Hindraf were inaccurate and insensitive to the sentiment of Indians in the country. He said that Hindraf is not only made of Tamil people but includes many non-Tamil and even non-Hindus.
He then told Mahathir “to remember his own (Mamak) roots” before making such statements.
Despite his Indian origins, Mahathir generally considers himself to be more Malay. He had used fiery rhetoric to propagate 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.
Following the race riots of 13 May 1969, he wrote a let, which was widely distributed, to the the Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman, criticising the manner in which Tunku Abdul Rahman had handled the country’s administration favouring the ethnic Chinese.
In 1983 and 1991, Mahathir took the Malay Rulers by ramming through an amendment to the Constitution to remove their royal veto and royal immunity om prosecution.
Prior to this amendment of the law, royal assent was required in order for any bill to pass into law. With effect of this amendment, approval by parliament could be legally considered as royal assent after a period of 30 days, notwithstanding the views of the Malay Rulers. The amendment only applied to secular laws.
The Malay Rulers continued to enjoy their constitutional right to make Islamic law in their own jurisdictions.
In 1988 Mahathir engineered the dismissal of the Lord President of the Supreme Court, Salleh Abas, and three other supreme court justices, whicy led to the widely held view as the beginning of end of the Malaysian judiciary’s independence from the executive.
In 1998, the government brought charges of sexual misconduct and abuse of power charges against the former finance minister and deputy prime minister, Anwar Ibrahim
While the trial was still underway, Mahathir went on television to declare Anwar guilty of sodomy and homosexual acts.