KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 13 — Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s eldest daughter said his family was not consulted over new biopic about him and would rather not see it produced now.
Datin Paduka Marina Mahathir told Malay Mail that the purported approval of the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) for the production titled Mahathir: The Journey did not mean his family also agreed to it.
“In my opinion such films should not be made while my dad is in office, if at all, especially when they intend to release them in time for his birthday next year.
“There are three biopics apparently in the works, claiming to have PMO endorsement.
“That’s not the same as having the blessing of my siblings and I,” she said when contacted.
Film director Mohamad Hatta Azad Khan has announced that Mahathir: The Journey would begin production next month.
The other biopics Marina mentioned are M For Mahathir that is expected to be released in September, and Hasmah that aims to depict the life of Dr Mahathir’s wife Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Ali.
Marina suggested a movie be made instead about former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor.
“That (suggestion) was meant to be sarcastic, although it would make a good story about the consequences of greed,” she said.
Marina said there were many Malaysian tales that needed telling besides that of her father and said the apparent preoccupation with him reflected poorly on the local industry.
She said her family would never encourage such productions as they found these embarrassing and intrusive.
“There are other good Malaysian stories to tell through film,” she said.
Malay Mail contacted Marina for additional comments after she tweeted her family’s position on the new title.
Recent reports of Mahathir: The Journey present Azhar Amir as playing the role of Dr Mahathir, with singer Fauziah Latiff as Dr Siti Hasmah.
Cast to play Marina is singer and actor Ning Baizura, with Hilal Azman, Dian P.Ramlee and Lisdawati playing the roles of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail and Nurul Izzah Anwar, respectively.
The film is said to be aimed at depicting the period of the gap between Dr Mahathir’s previous and present terms as the prime minister of Malaysia.