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KUALA LUMPUR, April 28 — Pakatan Rakyat lawmakers blamed brain drain and capital flight on the marginalisation of non-Muslims, backing US President Barack Obama’s remarks during his first official visit to the country.
DAP’s Zairil Khir Johari said the government should focus on economic development which should be inclusive.
“We’ve already seen how Malaysia suffers from capital flight and brain drain as a result of discrimination, ethno-nationalist policies and a rentier economy that benefits the elite.
“Today the government, having lost popular support in GE13, has adopted a very hawkish stand in order to divide the people,’ he told The Malay Mail Online.
The Bukit Bendera MP added that the government does not realise that its stance will cause instability and dent economic growth.
PKR Vice-President Nurul Izzah Anwar echoed Zairil’s sentiments.
“A loss, regardless whether it is suffered by Malays, Indians or Chinese, is a loss for the nation. I hope the message is received loud and clear to the prime minister, whose government continues to sponsor hate groups such as Perkasa which pick on non-Muslims.
She called on Malaysia’s prime minister to act on the problem.
Moving forward requires translating pronouncements and ideals into action, the Lembah Pantai MP said.
Meanwhile, PAS Vice-President Datuk Mahfuz Omar also agreed with Obama, saying it is important that all Malaysians have equal rights.
“Democracy has to be equal, regardless of religion, the colour of your skin or political affiliations,” the Pokok Sena MP said.
Obama yesterday said that prejudices against people from different religions and races have no place in the modern world and must be removed.
“Malaysia won’t succeed if the non-Muslims do not have the same opportunity,” Obama said in a townhall event at University of Malaya.
Obama said non-Muslims in Malaysia are currently facing hostility, and some have felt oppressed.
He also compared the struggle for civil rights across the world to the long fight to eliminate discrimination against ethnic minorities in the US, which culminated in him being elected president.