Mahathir becomes accidental fashion icon as Instagram screenshot of his old school $3 Bata sandals go viral

A screenshot of Dr Mahathir and his Bata sandals has gone viral, with the old school brand using the attention to promote the footwear for Ramadan.
Facebook/Bata and Instagram/Azranshah

Malaysia’s new prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has been hailed as a saviour of the country’s political scene over the past week but the last thing one would expect is to see him turned into a fashion icon.

The 92-year-old caught the attention of the internet on Thursday (May 17) when an Instagram user shared a screenshot of him wearing a pair of RM12 ($3) sandals.

The post included a caption which praised Mahathir for his humility and frugality. It read: “Our humble Tun need no Gucci or Hermes, just Bata is good to go.”

Bata wasted no time and has jumped in, sharing a picture of the sandals and proclaiming it as the “hottest selling accessory” this Ramadan.

The sandals are priced at RM11.99 and features a new insole design which differs slightly from the one Mahathir was wearing which is from four years ago.

Social media users are crediting Mahathir for reviving an old school brand:

A user has also pointed out why it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Mahathir is a frugal man: