Ethnic Chinese will back own race against Malays, Ridhuan Tee says after Thomas Cup loss

Malaysia's all-ethnic-Chinese team, led by Lee Chong Wei, failed to capture the Thomas Cup after losing 2-3 to Japan in New Delhi last night. — Reuters pic
Malaysia's all-ethnic-Chinese team, led by Lee Chong Wei, failed to capture the Thomas Cup after losing 2-3 to Japan in New Delhi last night. — Reuters pic

KUALA LUMPUR, May 26 — Malaysia’s ethnic Chinese will support a badminton player of their own race, even if he is from China, when he is pitted against a Malay, controversial columnist Ridhuan Tee Abdullah suggested today, barely a day after Malaysia's loss to Japan in the Thomas Cup final.

Ridhuan said determining loyalty to the country when a local ethnic Chinese plays against a Chinese national was "naive" as all Malaysians would pick the Malaysian Chinese.

"Let's say, it was (Datuk Lee) Chong Wei or Lin Dan versus (Datuk) Misbun (Sidek) or Lin Dan versus Taufik Hidayat from Indonesia. Who will support whom?

"So stop pretending to want to show love for Malaysia, but vote for the ultra kiasus," Ridhuan wrote in his Sinar Harian column which was published today.

Malaysia's all-ethnic-Chinese team, led by Chong Wei, failed to capture the Thomas Cup after losing 2-3 to Japan in New Delhi last night.

Ridhuan, an ethnic Chinese convert to Islam, said some within the local Chinese community did not acknowledge or respect the rights of Malay and Bumiputera citizens.

The National Defence University lecturer has repeatedly claimed that Malays were under siege and that their rights were being challenged by other ethnic minorities.

"Whether we agree on it or not, Islam is under threat, and it is our responsibility to defend it.

"I have been a non-Muslim, I know the ugly plans of some of them, even though my Muslim friends may not agree with me...I respect the difference of opinion," he said.

Ridhuan pointed out that having mosques, churches and temples built nearby each other was no indication of a "harmonious" society and it would be "shallow" for anyone to draw conclusions from such a simplistic observation.

"What is the point of living close together, if we are full of suspicion?" Ridhuan asked.

He was referring to a recent commentary in The Star by its editor Datuk Wong Chun Wai who had said Ridhuan suffered from an "identity crisis".

"Ridhuan can think and dream like a Malay, but he is still a Chinese. The fact also remains that Ridhuan was given the name Tee Chuan Seng by his parents.

"Most of us feel sorry for him as he seems to suffer from an identity crisis problem," Wong wrote.