NO one rushed to Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s defence when an Umno minister sneered at his Indian parentage, yet many are now demanding an apology over the former’s “Bugis” remark, said a patriot club today.
The former prime minister may face sedition charges for allegedly inciting hatred towards those of Bugis descent at the Love Malaysia, End Kleptocracy rally in Petaling Jaya on October 14.
Persatuan Patriot Kebangsaan president (ret) Brig-Gen Mohd Arshad Raji said Dr Mahathir did not rise to the bait when an Umno minister talked about his background.
Dr Mahathir remained calm and instead, asked the Umno leader to show his old identity card that stated he was of Indian heritage, Arshad said.
“Until today, the senior minister hasn’t shown any proof. Isn’t this a form of deception?”
Dr Mahathir, who is the opposition coalition Pakatan Harapan chairman, in his tirade against Najib Razak at the rally, allegedly said the prime minister’s ancestors were “Bugis pirates”.
Najib has in the past spoken proudly of his Bugis ancestry.
The Selangor Royal Court on Thursday issued a statement saying Dr Mahathir had vilified and lumped the Bugis community together with pirates, criminals and robbers.
The Selangor sultans are descended from the Bugis.
Arshad today did not name the senior Umno minister but was clearly referring to Umno deputy president and Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi who said in July Dr Mahathir was using the Malays to further his political career, despite the former Umno president and prime minister being of Indian parentage.
Arshad said the 1Malaysia slogan as used by Umno leaders will have no meaning if they themselves fanned racial and religious sentiments to cause disunity and tension.
He said the slogan should be used to unite all Malaysians, cultivate unity and love for the country, adding that the concept of 1Malaysia is synonymous with unity.
“The most important thing for our leaders to do right now is to find ways to help young Malaysians who are finding it hard to find work in their own country.”