KUALA LUMPUR – The politics of hate and instigating racial tension is normal when elections are around the corner, said Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein.
Hishammuddin said this in response to a recent statement by the National Patriot Association that non-bumiputeras shy away from joining the armed forces due to a distinctive division along ethnic lines.
“It is normal given that elections are around the corner, the opposition and parties that are not supportive of the current government will play up the racial divide and sensitivities. But, I am warning those who play up such issues, there are limits to it,” he told the media after his visit to the Tuanku Mizan Military Hospital in Wangsa Maju today.
Hishammuddin said social media is to blame for spreading such sentiments.
He was commenting on a recent article posted on an online portal which quoted Patriot president Brigadier-General (Rtd) Mohd Arshad Raji who said the government’s affirmative action policies of the 1980s had crept into the military administration.
Arshad had said that non-Malays did not mind if their really deserving Malay subordinates got promoted, but added that officers who were undeserving of promotion, were promoted over the years.
Meanwhile, speaking about the possibility of a Malaysian embassy in East Jerusalem, Hishammuddin said the matter needs to be discussed and analysed further by the Cabinet.
“We need to discuss this with the Cabinet to take into account issues of safety and economy and to get the views of the Home Ministry, Wisma Putra, Defence Ministry and Miti (Ministry of International Trade and Industry),” said Hishammuddin who is also Special Functions Minister.
He said a decision would be made after listening to the views of all the respective parties.