Tee Keat: Issue of gratefulness for allocations does not arise

(The Star) PETALING JAYA: Allocations which are pledged and disbursed to the people during election campaigns should be seen as the Government’s obligation to taxpayers, MCA president Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat said.

“The issue of gratefulness does not arise at all,” he said in the latest posting on his blog www.ongteekeat.net yesterday.

Ong said this stand had been clearly stated when he publicly made comments on the issue.

He said Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin could voice his views on the results of the Bukit Gantang by-election, and so could he.

He added that differing views should be respected in the spirit of democracy.

“Only the politically bankrupt would exploit such a scenario involving differing views and demand an apology from me for other people’s utterances,” he said, referring to DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang’s comments on his and Muhyiddin’s views being different.

Muhyiddin, meanwhile, said his comments on the Chinese over their apparent lack of support of the Barisan Nasional were taken out of context.

“My Bahasa is very clear and straight. I was just making an assessment about the situation in Bukit Selambau and Bukit Gantang.

“I said it very clearly in my interview. When you twist what I say and put me in a bad light with the Chinese community, that is something serious,” he told reporters after the handover of duties from former education minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein at the ministry yesterday.

“Although we tried to resolve the problems, it’s as if (seolah-olah) what we have done is not appreciated.”

He added that it was a post-mortem on the recent by-election results.

He said if the Chinese were not supporting the Barisan, he wanted to understand why.

“I think I am very frank about it as I want to understand why the Chinese thinking is like that, why the Malay is not like that. I am not saying that the Chinese are good or bad,” he said.

He added that the Chinese press had twisted what he said.

“I do not read Chinese but I got people who reported to me that what I said had been twisted,” he said.

Muhyiddin said he discussed with MCA president Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat about it.

“Tee Keat said there was nothing wrong with my statement,” he added.