POLICE have opened two investigation papers on Dr Mahathir Mohamad for his alleged derogatory remarks about the Bugis community.
Selangor Criminal Investigation Department chief Fadzil Ahmat said two investigation papers were opened after the Pakatan Harapan chairman had allegedly insulted the Bugis community during two speeches he made in Selangor.
The latest incident occurred on October 14 at the anti-kleptocracy rally at the Padang Timur in Petaling Jaya.
“I can confirm that we are investigating Dr Mahathir for his Bugis remarks. We will be recording his statement soon,” Fadzil told The Malaysian Insight.
The investigation papers, Fadzil said, were opened even before the Selangor Royal Court urged police to investigate Dr Mahathir for allegedly inciting hatred towards those of Bugis descent.
Five days ago, Selangor Royal Court secretary Hanafisah Jais said Dr Mahathir appeared to incite Malaysians to hate, degrade and view the Bugis community with contempt.
Dr Mahathir, who was prime minister for 22 years and is now one of the current government’s harshest critics, allegedly made such remarks in a speech at the Love Malaysia, End Kleptocracy rally in Petaling Jaya on October 14, Hanafisah said.
“Members of the Royal Court feel (Dr Mahathir’s) speech was extremely excessive, and can spark hatred and feelings of ill-will towards the Bugis community, to the point of causing chaos and disharmony.”
The former prime minister’s remarks about the Bugis have also been criticised by members of the community, who demanded that he apologise.
An Indonesian Bugis association had demanded Dr Mahathir apologise or it would stage a protest outside the Malaysian embassy in Jakarta.
The Bugis are an ethic group from Sulawesi in Indonesia. Large sections of the Malaysian Muslim community are of Bugis descent.
In his tirade against Prime Minister Najib Razak at the rally, Dr Mahathir, had allegedly said Najib’s ancestors were “Bugis pirates”.
Najib had, in the past, spoken proudly of his family’s Bugis ancestry.
The Selangor Royal Court said a video clip of Dr Mahathir’s speech clearly showed he had vilified and lumped the Bugis community together with pirates, criminals and robbers.
In responding to the Selangor Royal Court statement, Dr Mahathir had said: “Not all Bugis people are pirates, our King is also of Bugis descent. I didn’t say that our King is a pirate, but what I meant was Najib is the pirate.”
The former prime minister had also said in a Facebook video that if it takes him being locked up for going up against Najib, he would willingly do so.
“Since I have been actively going against Najib, there are many people who want me to wear an orange shirt with the word ‘lock-up’ on it. So, this is another step towards that direction,” Dr Mahathir had said.