KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 6 — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim pleaded with Malaysians not to give him a paternal nickname, following the practise of his predecessors Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri.
The Tambun MP replied to a message from a Twitter user who wished him “Good morning papa” under his post on corruption among politicians and the elites in Malaysia.
“pls — dont do that,” he replied shortly.
Malaysia’s two former prime ministers had used paternal nicknames in a bid to portray themselves as father figures.
Muhyiddin called himself “Abah”, which is another word for “father” in Malay.
His successor Ismail Sabri was called many names such as “Pak Long” which is usually reserved for the oldest uncle in the family, or “Tok Mail”.
Ismail Sabri’s nickname was given when he served under Muhyiddin. He later used the “Keluarga Malaysia” or “Malaysian Family” theme for his administration.
During Muhyiddin’s administration, health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah was also dubbed “Pak Ngah”, usually reserved for the second oldest uncle in the family. Dr Noor Hisham however has never used the moniker.
Muhyiddin continued to use his “Abah” moniker during 15th general election campaigning.
Anwar became Malaysia’s 10th prime minister after his coalition Pakatan Harapan (PH) won the most seats at the recently concluded general elections. He has formed a coalition government with MPs from Barisan Nasional, Gabungan Parti Sarawak and Gabungan Rakyat Sabah.