Tun M’s Bugis hate speech: Harapan leaders’ silence is not an option

1. The silence from the other Pakatan Harapan leaders over the “Bugis” hot soup that their Chairman Tun Mahathir landed himself in is deafening.

2. Not only has the Selangor Royalty called for a sedition probe but the Indonesian Vice President has called for Tun Mahathir to apologize.

3. Tun Mahathir continues to remain defiant and insist he has done nothing wrong. In his official letter to the Malaysian Ambassador to Indonesia, Tun Mahathir also a cussed Prime Minister Najib of paying a lot of money in “dedak” to others for them to play up this issue.

4. In his controversial speech during the failed anti-kleptocracy rally, Tun Mahathir said these exact words:

“Maybe because he (Najib) comes from the Bugis Pirates. I don’t know how he got lost and ended up here in Malaysia, he should go back to Bugis”.

5. How this is an insult and why it is outrageous for Harapan leaders to remain silent becomes clear once you just change the name as well as the ethnic group in Tun Mahathir’s statement.

“Maybe because he (Kit Siang or Eric) comes from the Chinese Pirates. I don’t know how he got lost and ended up here in Malaysia, he should go back to China”.

6. Would DAP similarly remain silent if Tun Mahathir had said these words? No. All hell will break lose and we will be hearing about these for the next two General Elections.

7. For years, DAP has been up in arms whenever any random individual calls on the Chinese to go back to China but their hypocrisy and selective blindness prevents them from acknowledging the damage of what Tun Mahathir’s racist speech can cause.

8. No ethnic group in Malaysia should ever be called pirates or should be asked to go back from where they came from.

9. This is a hate speech and Harapan leaders must speak up against any hate speech or risk losing the moral right to be called anti-racism.

10. There is also no use for certain parties to divert this by claiming that Deputy Prime Minister Zahid Hamidi had done the same.

11. DPM Zahid merely mentioned that Tun Mahathir had Indian origins. He did not call Indian as pirates and neither did he call anyone to “balik India”.

Merely stating the fact that a person has Indian blood is not an insult to Indians. How is this a racist insult?

12. For the sake of the principle that no ethnic group should ever be asked to go back to where they came from as well as for continuing good relations with Indonesia, Harapan leaders must be brave and do the right thing.

13. Harapan leaders must condemn their Chairman and call on him to apologize – or risk losing the right to claim or ever pretend that you are anti-racism.

Eric See-To.
Deputy Director,
Barisan Nasional Strategic Communications.