Former minister Zainuddin Maidin claimed that Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak has fanned Malay sentiments and emotions with his comments against tycoon Robert Kuok.
Najib had said that Kuok’s success was due to the BN-led government, after blogger Raja Petra Kamaruddin’s accusation that the tycoon had been funding the DAP.
“I don’t know why the prime minister feels the need to fan Malay sentiments and emotions against Malaysia’s richest man Robert Kuok based on information from someone who has no credibility, and without considering Kuok’s role in the country’s history, particularly in normalising relations with China and the May 13 incident,” Zainuddin said in a blog posting.
He said Najib would not be quick in making negative assumptions about Kuok had he made reference to the book “The Reluctant Politician: Tun Dr Ismail and His Time” a biography of Ismail Abdul Rahman, the country’s second deputy prime minister.
Zainuddin said the book detailed Kuok’s close relationship with Ismail, with the tycoon having described Ismail as “the most non-racial, non-racist Malay I have met in my life”.
He added: “Ismail, in making his very important speech during a time of crisis following the May 13 riots, had asked Kuok (photo) to fly back from Singapore to check through his speech, which was to be televised after Tunku (Abdul Rahman) failed to calm the populace.
“Kuok had, with Ismail’s agreement, altered his speech. It was an effective speech that restored the people’s confidence in the country when Ismail declared that ‘democracy is dead in this country’ but added to journalists that ‘a powerful government is one that is not afraid to practise democracy’.”
Zainuddin said Kuok also helped lay the groundwork for Malaysia’s entourage amid efforts to normalise relations with the communist nation.
“Perhaps, faced with the general election and in a state of panic, Najib had easily believed whatever information given to him without considering whether it is fake.
“It may be that he believes all information from Umno and government supporters must be true, including those that come from Raja Petra,” he said.
Raja Petra had claimed that Kuok, through his nephew James Kuok, had funded the DAP.