Sarawak politician suggests recognising minorities for contributing to Malaysia’s economy and education instead of questioning loyalty to country

KUCHING, Jan 16 — The contributions of the ethnic Chinese and Indians to society in the fields of economy and education should be recognised as proof they are loyal Malaysian citizens, Parti Bumi Kenyalang president Voon Lee Shan said today.

He said it is an undeniable fact that Chinese and Indians, like Malaysians of other ethnicities, helped build the economy.

He added that many became millionaires without much government help, but have in turn, given back to society. “They paid taxes and so far we have yet to hear any Chinese and Indian tycoons being investigated and charged in court for not paying taxes to Malaysia,” he said in response to former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s recent comments on the Chinese and Indian communities.

“Their contributions to society in the field of economy and education should be recognised, instead of questioning their loyalty.

“At the same time, are there people who claim themselves as Malays but are 100 per cent loyal to Malaysia?” Voon asked.

On the other hand, he said there are individuals who claimed to be fully loyal Malaysian citizens, but have only enriched themselves, their families and cronies.

He said such people have not contributed to the country’s progress but have instead used race and religion for self-enrichment and as such caused regular Malays hardships.

In a recent interview with a South Indian TV channel Thanthi TV, Dr Mahathir alleged that the Indian and Chinese communities in Malaysia do not identify as Malaysians because they still have loyalty to “their countries of origin”.

In recent months, Dr Mahathir had been a vocal proponent of assimilating minorities to become Malays so the country could be mono-ethnic 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.

Last year, he insisted the non-Malays in the country should have been assimilated into the Malay community, to form the “Bangsa Malaysia” concept of nation that he envisioned.



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