Loyalty shouldn’t be based on proficiency in Malay, says Shahril

The former Umno information chief says the debate on who is more loyal to the country will still go on ‘even if everyone was fluent in Malay’.

(FMT) – Loyalty to the country should not be based on proficiency in the national language, a former Umno information chief said.

Shahril Hamdan said the debate on who was more loyal to the country would still be had even if “everyone was fluent in Malay”.

“If we are unable to cultivate love and respect between one another, there will still be division even if we are fluent in Malay,” he said in the latest episode of the “Keluar Sekejap” podcast, which he co-hosted with Khairy Jamaluddin.

Khairy, a former minister and Umno Youth chief, had suggested that being fluent in Malay would put an end to the discussion on the loyalty of non-Malays.

Mahathir’s remarks, made in a recent interview with Chennai-based Tamil news channel Thanthi TV, have drawn criticisms from politicians and other parties and led to several police reports lodged against him.

Meanwhile, Khairy said the various comments on a DAP MP’s proposal to include non-Muslim constitutional experts in a committee studying the conflicts between shariah law and the Federal Constitution were counter-productive.

“I believe that responding, rejecting or condemning it (the statement) increases the tension,” he said.

He was responding to the torching of Beruas MP Ngeh Koo Ham’s home in Ayer Tawar, Perak last week.

Ngeh said those behind the fire might have been instigated by others, and misled by falsehoods following his controversial proposal last month.

On Friday, police arrested a man, in his 30s, in Shah Alam, Selangor, in relation to the case. The motive behind the assault is still under investigation.