Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has not decided whether the National Unity and Social Well-being Minister P Waytha Moorthy should resign over calls by many parties for his alleged failure to contain interracial tensions over the riots at the Sri Maha Mariamman temple in Subang Jaya.
Mahathir said people are free to express their opinion on the matter.
“(But) it is up to me to decide, I haven’t decided yet,“ he told reporters after delivering a keynote address at the Malaysian Institute of Management (MIM) Leadership Series last night.
When asked if he was happy with Waytha Moorthy’s performance as a minister, Mahathir said, “I feel okay (with his performance).”
Yesterday, the media reported that the Youth wing of Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) had reportedly delivered a memorandum to Mahathir, who is also its chairman, asking for minister P Waytha Moorthy to be removed as a minister, while Malay rights group Perkasa has threatened to stage a demonstration if Waytha is not removed from the Cabinet.
In a blunt statement yesterday, its president Datuk Ibrahim Ali urged Dr Mahathir to take swift action.
“Do not hesitate for long, lest the rakyat’s anger grows daily. Demonstrations are now a part of their culture, but let it not come to that and instead pity them for having to do so since their lives are already burdened by terrible living costs,” he said.
Ibrahim said if Waytha were an honourable individual, he would have already resigned in the face of over 300,000 signatures on a petition calling for his dismissal.
“If he chooses to stay it is proof he is without self-worth, akin to a rusty piece of copper unfit to be displayed.
“It would lend credence to the assumption that he has always been after position and the Indian community was merely a smokescreen for his political ambition,” he said.
Adding that Waytha’s actions have now caused the Indian community to be viewed with suspicion by other races in the country, Ibrahim said he should also resign to prevent placing Dr Mahathir in a delicate position.
“If left with no choice then the Prime Minister has to drop him from the Cabinet via a reshuffle. Waytha’s actions have also tarnished Malaysia’s good name on the international stage without bounds,” he said.
Ibrahim harshly criticised Waytha’s claim that the police were slow to react during the Sri Maha Mariamman Devasthanam incident, which he alleged resulted in rioting by the mob and led to the death of firefighter Muhammad Adib Mohd Kassim.
“So long as he is in the Pakatan Harapan Cabinet, it risks being seen as without credibility, dishonourable and uncaring of the majority of the rakyat,” he said