Dr Mahathir Mohamad today stood firm on his weekend address at the Malay Dignity Congress, saying he was merely stating the facts about the state of things with the Malays.
The prime minister defended his speech, which detractors claimed had denigrated the race.
According to Dr Mahathir, he spoke the truth about the Malays with the aim of correcting them.
“I want to speak the truth. If I find someone is not willing to work, then the person is not interested (in working).
“If we cannot reprimand people (for their errors), then how do we correct them? If someone does wrong, and if we praise them, that is also wrong.
“I merely said it is the Malays themselves who can redeem their dignity,” he told reporters at the Parliament lobby this afternoon.
Mahathir said the Malays cannot depend on others or the government to uphold their dignity and pride.
“This was the content of my speech. I don’t think I did anything wrong,” he added.
Yesterday, right-wing Muslim movement Isma chairperson Aminuddin Yahaya criticised Mahathir over his speech, saying the attendees hoped for something positive but were forced to listen to the prime minister disparaging the Malays instead.
Meanwhile, Johor Umno Youth chief Mohd Hairi Mad Shah said 70 pe cent of Mahathir’s speech had tarnished the Malays and was devoid of elements to foster greater unity in the community.
Mahathir had also courted flak for describing the minorities in Malaysia as foreigners during his speech at the congress.
The premier had said the Malays were forced to accept these ‘orang asing’ (foreigners) or the nation would not have achieved independence from the British.