Ali Rustam baffled at sedition charge, says only telling truth about Chinese

(TMI) – Umno vice-presidential candidate Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam (pic) has defended his controversial remarks accusing the Chinese of being involved in illegal businesses, which led to a police report being filed against him for sedition.

“I am just saying that the Chinese can run certain businesses that are haram for Muslims – casinos, lotteries, gambling and Ah Long (money lending services), he said.

“It is haram for Muslims to run these businesses although they have the permits to do so,” he said.

He said his statement had been misunderstood and he was accused of insulting non-Muslims.

Kota Laksamana assemblyman Lai Kuen Ban lodged a report against him on October 9, and The Malaysian Insider yesterday reported that Kuala Lumpur police had launched a sedition probe on Mohd Ali.

Mohd Ali made the remarks at a Perbadanan Usahawan Nasional Berhad (PUNB) event on October 8 where he had criticised the Chinese for being allegedly involved in all “illegal businesses” in the country.

“We can’t have casinos, 4D, Toto, gambling, lottery, massage parlours, ah long. These are all illegal. And the Chinese are the ones dabbling with all the illegal businesses,” he was quoted as saying at the event.

Yesterday, he said he was baffled that his remarks were deemed seditious.

”The Chinese are running those businesses. How come they accused me of being racist? How can that be a racist statement when I’m only telling the truth?” he asked after meeting supporters at Kompleks Tabung Haji in George Town.

Mohd Ali questioned why police are investigating him when certain quarters such as DAP and Chinese educationist group Dong Zong “can say whatever they like”.

“If I can’t even talk about this, then what else can I say? Are you expecting me to say 4-D gambling and casinos are halal?” he asked