THE ambitious Sino-Malaysia East Coat Rail Link (ECRL) was launched today but Malay rights group Perkasa accused Putrajaya of pawning race and dignity when it described the ceremony as being “too Chinese”.
Perkasa secretary-general Syed Hassan Syed Ali said the ceremony attended by top Chinese officials and Prime Minister Najib Razak was proof that Malaysia had been “colonised” through its economy.
“Perkasa was told that the ceremony did not have a Malaysian feel, as if it was not in Malaysia. Everything was in Chinese. Perkasa is very disappointed that our national identity is lost in this ceremony.
“We see flags along the road in Chinese. There is not even a single Malaysian flag. Was the Malaysian flag not allowed at the ceremony?” he said in a media statement.
“It is even more unfortunate that the emcee of the event spoke Mandarin. Perhaps the person was brought from China. This is the start of denying Bahasa Melayu as the national language,” he added.
Syed Hassan also hit out at the fact that the lorries and heavy machines for the project were from China.
He wanted to know if the drivers and operators of the machines would also be brought from China.
“If that is the case, do we not have Malaysians who can operate the vehicles and machines? How many workers from mainland China are going to be brought here for the ECRL project?”
Syed Hassan then accused government leaders of pawning off the race and country’s dignity for the sake of development projects.
He said this did not happen when Malaysia built the Kuala Lumpur International Airport, Putrajaya, Sepang F1 International Circuit, West Port, Petronas Twin Towers and other major rail transport projects.
“Where has the identity of our present national leaders gone?”
The mega projects he mentioned were from Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s era. Dr Mahathir, who was Perkasa patron, has been critical of the present administration’s projects involving China.
THE MALAYSIAN INSIGHT