AN Umno leader has hit out at tycoon Robert Kuok for saying Malaysia is “on the wrong track”, reported Malaysiakini.
Supreme Council member Bung Moktar Radin said it was “unfair” for the 54th richest man in the world, dubbed the “Sugar King”, to criticise the country in which he found success.
Bung Moktar said the government had to take a race-based approach to help Malays, adding that “affirmative action” prevented animosity among the ethnic groups.
“We are on the right track. That’s why Malaysia is sustaining until today,” he was quoted as saying.
“We have seen how a country that is dominated by one race, but controlled by another ethnic minority, will ultimately head towards destruction. We do not want this to happen here.”
The Kinabatangan MP said non-Malays were not discriminated against in the process.
He said it was obvious that business in Malaysia was controlled by the Chinese, but Malays “were not envious” and just wanted to “share in the successes”.
“I think it is unfair for someone (like Kuok) who found success in the country to make such a criticism.
“Anybody, not just Kuok, who finds success in Malaysia shouldn’t forget where they came from.”
He said successful Malaysian business leaders should be fair when voicing their opinions on the country and its leadership, as they could affect investor confidence and the economy.
Kuok, one of the most highly respected businessmen in Asia, recently released his book, Robert Kuok, A Memoir, in Singapore and Hong Kong, which tells of how he started his business in British-colonised Malaya and built his multi-industry and multinational empire.
The 94-year-old shares his thoughts on Malaysia, his relationship with its prime ministers and his observation that the country had been “put on the wrong track“.
“Since May 13, 1969, the Malay leadership has had one simple philosophy: Malays need handicapping.
“I have seen a picture developing all along of a train moving in the wrong direction. During (fourth prime minister) Hussein Onn’s administration, he was only partially successful in stemming the tide.
“The train of the nation had been put on the wrong track. Hussein wasn’t strong enough to lift up the train and set it down on the right track.”
He also offers insights into the workings of Malaysian politics, and how politicians from the ruling government took control over successful private enterprises, among others.
The autobiography will be released in Malaysia tomorrow and on January 1 in Indonesia.
Bung Moktar suggested that Kuok, who has moved his business overseas, return to Malaysia, as the latter had an “obligation” to help with the country’s development.
“I see Kuok as a successful leader. He started his business here and became a rich man, but what is worrying is that he moved his business overseas.
“He should invest more in Malaysia to provide opportunities to the various ethnic groups here who can share the wealth with him.
“He was once the ‘Sugar King’, the sole exporter and importer of sugar. He should return to the place where he first started.
“I am not accusing him of being unpatriotic. It’s just that I feel he has strayed in pursuit of opportunities out there.”