Guan Eng says Dr M’s remark about Indian Malaysians ‘extreme’ and ‘dangerous’ as it was from an ex-prime minister

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 14 — DAP chairman Lim Guan Eng today condemned Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad for questioning the patriotism of Indian Malaysians, saying it was unbecoming of a former prime minister who once spoke of forming a “Malaysian race”.

Lim claimed the 98-year-old’s racial remark bore the signature of someone who had lost support from the majority of Malaysians and wants to regain it.

“It is clear this is politically motivated because of his failure to win over the support of Malaysians. He has taken an extremist, racist and dangerous line to win support.

“This is not only extreme but dangerous, coming from a prime minister who has preached of fostering a Malaysian race, a Malaysian nation,” the Bagan MP told reporters at his parliamentary service centre in Penang.

A video clip of Lim’s press conference was made available to the media.

The DAP leader was responding to Dr Mahathir’s remarks in an interview with Thanthi TV, an Indian TV channel, aired on January 11.

The two-time former prime minister had questioned the loyalty of ethnic Indians and ethnic Chinese, insisting that a citizen must identify as Malay to be considered Malaysian.

In recent months, Dr Mahathir has been a vocal proponent of assimilating minorities to become Malays so the country can be monoethnic after he joined Parti Bumiputera Perkasa Malaysia led by Datuk Ibrahim Ali — which was formed as the political extension of his Malay supremacist group Perkasa.

Lim said that Dr Mahathir is now adopting the same tactics practised by his former adversaries from PAS since becoming the adviser for the four Perikatan Nasional state governments.

“He and Hadi share the same political and ideological output by using race and religion to target minorities for their own political purpose,” the DAP politician said, referring to PAS president Tan Sri Abdul Hadi Awang.

Lim said such tactics only threaten Malaysia’s unity and harmony.

“Are you not dispossessing nearly 45 per cent of Malaysians from their right to heritage of Malaysia as their country?

“We know the sacrifices made by Malaysian Indians. We know so many Indians who served in the army and police, why does he not recognise their sacrifices and contributions?” Lim asked.

He added that Dr Mahathir’s remarks also seem to also deny the other demographic groups in Malaysia like the Kadazandusun, Iban, Melanau, and Orang Asli their rights as citizens too if they needed to be Malay to consider Malaysia their homeland.

Lim told Dr Mahathir and Hadi to read the Federal Constitution properly and stop targeting the non-Muslims and non-Bumiputera groups in the country.

He also urged Malaysians to unite in condemning the dangerous politics practised by such people.

Lim’s response follows that of National Unity Minister Datuk Aaron Ago Dagang yesterday.

The minister said that as a veteran statesman, Dr Mahathir should have acted like a role model instead of trying to incite racial tensions as he had helped build the country by spreading messages of togetherness.



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