I did not say slap, says under-fire Tajuddin


(The Star) – Datuk Seri Tajuddin Abdul Rahman (pic), who is known for his controversial statements, is denying that he used words such as “lempang” and “tampar” (to slap) Chinese who highlighted complaints outside the country.

The Deputy Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister and Pasir Salak MP said such words “are not suitable for a veteran politician like me”.

“How can I use the word ‘lempang’ and so on? That is schoolchildren’s language.

“I am not a young boy. How can I use words like that? How can I use stupid words like that!” he told The Star Online.

“Malaysian Chinese are Malaysian citizens. If there is any problem in the country, they should settle it internally,” he added.

However, recordings put up by news portals show that he did use the word, although he seems to have said it in jest as he laughed it off immediately.

At a press conference during the launch of the Herbal Asia 2015 exhibition, Tajuddin warned Malaysian Chinese not to complain about the Government to foreigners and hoped to be protected by foreign governments. Such Malaysians, he said, should be “lempang” by him.

Tajuddin said later that he was “only reminding” the Chinese who hoped to benefit from taking their complaints overseas.

“There are still a few Chinese who think they have a godfather to protect or help them. I repeat – some Chinese.

“This is a reminder. I am just telling them that they should not be thinking this way.”

MCA central committee member Koh Chin Han condemned Tajuddin’s statement and asked him to apologise.

In a press statement issued on the party’s website on Thursday, Koh said “such an utterance clearly goes against the spirit of 1Malaysia and is only intended to add flames to the controversy surrounding the Chinese ambassador to Malaysia.

“We are shocked that such an illogical and racist statement can come from a deputy minister and a Barisan Nasional leader.

“We urge Tajuddin to state clearly when did the Malaysian Chinese complain to foreign governments about the Malaysian Government, and when did any Malaysian Chinese say they intended to ‘return’ to China?” said Koh.

“Malaysian Chinese are all born and raised here. Nobody has the right to slander any race, be it the Malay, Chinese, Indian or other races. Such an act can be construed as contempt of the Federal Constitution which protects the rights of all races.”

Koh urged Tajuddin to immediately retract his statement.

“If he ever dares to slap any Chinese, MCA will not sit still. The Malaysian Chinese are proud of Malaysia.

“Tajuddin’s statement can become an international joke and cast a shadow over Malaysia’s reputation which has been painstakingly nurtured over the years.”

In a special briefing on Sept 29, China’s ambassador to Malaysia Dr Huang Huikang had reiterated that he never intended to interfere with Malaysia’s domestic affairs in remarks he made in Petaling Street on Sept 25.