Indonesian VP wants Dr M to apologise over Bugis remark

(The Star) – Indonesian vice-president Jusuf Kalla has called upon former premier Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to apologise for insulting the Bugis people in a controversial speech last month.

According to Indonesian news portal, Kalla admitted to being “shocked” by Dr Mahathir’s insult against his political rival Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak because of the Prime Minister’s lineage.

“Firstly, as a Bugis person, I am shocked and I protest. Therefore, Mahathir should apologise. Because the Bugis are not only in South Sulawesi, but they are all over Indonesia, and even in Malaysia,” said Kalla in Jakarta, Indonesia, on Tuesday.

Kalla added that Dr Mahathir should rectify his statement, which is deemed hurtful to the Bugis people.

“Mahathir needs to correct it, don’t connect (questions of race),” he added.

It was reported that Dr Mahathir, 92, had told the “Sayangi Malaysia, Hapuskan Kleptokrasy” rally on Oct 14 that Malaysia was being led by a Prime Minister who came from “Bugis pirates”.

The remark drew a multitude of reactions and ire, especially from the Bugis community.

As a result, the Persatuan Perpaduan Rumpun Bugis Melayu Malaysia protested in front of the Perdana Leadership Foundation on Oct 18, urging Dr Mahathir to apologise and retract his remark.