While Umno leaders have been on the offensive against tycoon Robert Kuok, Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi chose to take a more reserved position.
Giving a vague answer without naming names, Zahid emphasised the point of not causing offence.
“To me, we don’t need to raise something that could cause a group or someone to be offended (terhentak hati) by the views.
“When someone is already at the international level, which should be respected, there is no need to side with one group,” he was quoted as saying by Bernama at a Chinese New year open house event in Kuala Lumpur tonight.
Kuok is presently based in Hong Kong. Zahid was asked to respond to the controversy surrounding Kuok.
Umno leaders, including Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak, had criticised Kuok after blogger Raja Petra Kamaruddin alleged that the billionaire was funding the DAP.
Kuok had denied the allegation.
The most scathing attack came from Umno supreme council member Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz, who called Kuok a “pondan” (effiminate) and challenged him to renounce his Malaysian citizenship.
A handful of BN leaders, particularly from MCA, defended Kuok and cast doubt on Raja Petra’s credibility.
MCA secretary-general Ong Ka Chuan also warned Umno’s attacks against Kuok will not bode well for race relations.
MEANWHILE, according to Malay Mail:
ZAHID: DON’T MAKE STATEMENTS AGAINST NATIONAL INTEREST
KUALA LUMPUR— Anyone has the freedom to make any statement they wish, but it should not go against national interest, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said today.
Addressing the allegations of Malaysian billionaire Tan Sri Robert Kuok funding the DAP, Zahid said statements made towards prominent figures should be balanced and unbiased.
He said due to Malaysia’s multicultural and multi-ethnic makeup, issues that would raise unease against certain parties or individuals should not be brought up, especially one at an international level.
“If the matter was not true, then what was raised should not have been brought up in the first place on any statement or opinion that had been issued,” he told reporters after Asian Strategy and Leadership Institute’s (Asli) 2018 Chinese New Year open house here.
Blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin published last week a series of articles claiming Kuok was financing the DAP and The Malaysian Insight news portal.
The business magnate, who lives in Hong Kong, denied today allegations in those articles and expressed appreciation for the opportunities given to him in Malaysia.
-MKINI / Malay Mail