Daughters of Malaysian politicians under fire speak up for their fathers on social media

Datuk Nurulhidayah Ahmad Zahid took to Facebook to defend her father, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
Datuk Nurulhidayah Ahmad Zahid took to Facebook to defend her father, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.PHOTO: THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - No longer in the shadows of their influential fathers, the daughters of Malaysia's politicians are now stepping up on social media to defend their dads or airing their political views on current issues.

At the end of August last year, the daughter of Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi slammed supporters of the Bersih 4 protests on Facebook for taking to the streets in the name of defending the country.

Datuk Nurulhidayah Ahmad Zahid likened the street protests to the 1998 "reformasi" era when then deputy prime minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim was sacked from the Cabinet and her father arrested under the Internal Security Act (ISA).

"You think you are so brave opposing like that? I had a similar experience in 1998, I was so stupid back then because I just wanted to go to the streets and have fun. At that time, I called for (former prime minister) Tun Dr Mahathir (Mohamad) to step down. I believe many were like me before," she said.

While some supported her, she also received criticism from netizens for her opinions.

Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin's daughter Najwa Mahiaddin took a subtle approach instead during her father's removal from power.

"Allah knows best," the singer tweeted together with an image of her father and mother hugging after Muhyiddin was dropped as deputy prime minister and education minister.

She also told Malaysians to "hold their heads up" in her song After The Rain.

When Kedah Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Ahmad Bashah Md Hanipah was on the receiving end due to claims that he had not benefited from tertiary education, his youngest daughter became his No.1 champion.

In a Facebook post, Azira Hafiza spoke up for people like her father who never made it to university but had to work their way up in the world through grit and wit.

She also expressed dismay over the public's jokes of her dad being a "sleepyhead", calling it slander.

And when Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir was removed from his post as Kedah Menteri Besar, his daughter Meera Alyanna Mukhriz stood firmly by her father's side.

In a post on her Instagram, she called him a "person with integrity, perseverance and strong will".

Admitting that she did not know much about politics, she nevertheless said that her father was a great man and she was grateful for all that he had given her.

Many social media users have welcomed these young women's online posts because they gave a glimpse into the personal lives of politicians and as an insider's view to a current conflict.

Responding to Alyanna's Instagram post, user landrovermalaysia said: "This is great. Daughter vs Daughter! Let's wait for Wife vs Wife!??"