Dr M working hard not for awards, daughter says after Nobel Prize pitch

Anith Adilah
Datin Paduka Marina Mahathir speaks to Malay Mail in Bangsar May 25,2018. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri

KUALA LUMPUR, May 27 — Datin Paduka Marina Mahathir today thanked thousands of signatories who petitioned for her father Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to be considered as a Nobel Peace Prize nominee this year.

She said it was “really nice” for Malaysians to think highly of her 92-year-old father, who is now the seventh prime minister, but said that Dr Mahathir was never one who sought such recognitions.

“It was really nice of them to do that but knowing my father, he is not one who works hard for an award or a recognition. So I don’t know what to say.

“Thanks, but no thanks, I guess?” Marina told Malay Mail.

The petition towards the Nobel Foundation on the Change.org platform was started by user Alexandria Abishegam, who said that Dr Mahathir had successfully led a change of the federal government in a peaceful and non-violent way.

“Tun Dr Mahathir is akin to being the ‘Nelson Mandela’ of Malaysia,” said the petition, referring to the jailed South African anti-apartheid activist and later its first black president.

It has garnered over 32,000 signatures at the time of writing.

The petition ostensibly seeks to replicate the success of a similar petition on the platform in 2012, which got nearly 300,000 signatures to nominate Pakistani child activist Malala Yousafzai for the prize.

She was then nominated in 2013, and later awarded the prize in 2014.

Dr Mahathir served Malaysia for 22 years as prime minister, and returned to the post this month after leading Pakatan Harapan to defeat BN that had ruled the country for six decades.