Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim today labelled Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s racial remark against the Indian community in the country as irresponsible and irrelevant.
Anwar, who is also the finance minister, said all Malaysians are to be respected and must be embraced for their strength.
“I do not consider Tun Mahathir’s statement to be relevant. That’s an irresponsible statement as a long-time former prime minister. Then, he insults any race, whether it’s the majority or the minority. He is indeed famous for ‘Malays are lazy’ except for him. Indians and Chinese are considered less loyal except for his cronies.
“I think that statement, we protest strongly because it is very irresponsible. For me, we must respect all loyal Rakyat, regardless of who they are, and we must embrace and the whole strength of the people goes to the main issue,” he told reporters after launching the Artificial Intelligence (AI) Programme for The People at Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) in Serdang.
Anwar said that Dr Mahathir’s statement was an attempt to divert attention from the real issues.
“This is an attempt to divert attention. The fight against corruption, digital governance, and energy transition. This is our focus,” he said.
Dr Mahathir in an interview with Indian-language TV channel Thanthi TV 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 has been a vocal proponent of assimilating minorities to become Malays so the country can be monoethnic after he joined Parti Bumiputera Perkasa Malaysia (Putra) led by Datuk Ibrahim Ali — which was formed as the political extension of the latter’s Malay supremacist group Perkasa. – MMO