PUTRAJAYA: Speculation that the Kelantan palace had revoked a prestigious title conferred on Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad finally ended with news that his office is in the process of returning the award to Kelantan.
The revocation of the award was confirmed by Kelantan state secretary Datuk Mohd Faudzi Che Mamat.
In a statement, he said the Darjah Kerabat Al-Yunusi (DK) conferred on Dr Mahathir had been revoked. The letter was delivered to Dr Mahathir’s residence.
He was conferred the DK title in 2002 shortly before he retired as prime minister.
The award is normally reserved for royalty and is limited to 25 recipients at any one time.
The revocation from the Kelantan palace comes on the heels of Dr Mahathir’s uneasy ties with the Selangor palace. He and Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali had voluntarily returned two Selangor awards in December after being criticised by the Sultan of Selangor.
He is also not in the good books of the Sultan of Johor, who has openly criticised him.
Reporters hoping to get comments from Dr Mahathir were left in the lurch when he made a quick exit from an event yesterday.
He kept his speech short at the 58th anniversary of the Muslim Welfare Organisation of Malaysia (Perkim) at Perdana Leadership Foundation, saying he was unwell.
“I would like to apologise to everyone as I’m a little bit unwell, so I have to cut my speech short,” said Dr Mahathir, who is also Perkim president, at the end of his 15-minute speech.
He left with Dr Siti Hasmah immediately after.
Two Amanah leaders from Kelantan also had their Datukships revoked by the Kelantan palace.
They were Amanah vice-president Husam Musa and his state chief Wan Abdul Rahim Wan Abdullah.
Earlier at the event, Dr Mahathir advised Muslims to accept the decision of the Federal Court on the unilateral conversion issue for the sake of religious harmony.
He said in such cases, consideration and fairness for all parties must be prioritised.
Dr Mahathir said this in light of the recent case of the court nullifying the unilateral conversion of M. Indira Gandhi’s three children to Islam by her former husband.
“We heard the (court) decision that the religion of the children must be agreed to by both parents.
“Many of us did not feel easy with the decision and we wanted a just and solid action whereby Islam is prioritised,” he said.
However, he said there were cases where wise decisions needed to be made for the sake of religious harmony in a multiracial nation such as Malaysia.