KUALA LUMPUR, July 9 — Germany’s Ambassador to Malaysia objected today to a Malaysian leader’s salute of Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler in his praise for the country’s performance in the World Cup, saying the comparison was “unacceptable”.
In a statement emailed to The Malay Mail Online, His Excellency Holger Michael said the embassy “strongly rejects” the reference made by Datuk Bung Moktar Radin, who said earlier today that the German team had “fought like Hitler” in the semi-final match this morning.
“While we appreciate the admiration for the German football team, we strongly reject the unacceptable allusion to the fascist regime of Adolf Hitler,” Michael said.
Bung had tweeted a salute to Hitler this morning, which led many Twitter users to chastise him. An unrepentant Bung then heaped abuse on them.
“Well done… Bravo… Long live Hitler…” the federal lawmaker posted on the microblogging site via the Twitter handle @MyKinabatangan.
Bung has since defended his tweet, saying he had only done so out of his admiration for the German football team.
The Kinabatangan MP from Sabah, a self-professed fan of the team nicknamed “Die Mannschaft”, said they fought like Hitler when they thrashed Brazil 7-1 in the World Cup semi-final match early this morning.
The embassy however declined to comment on the severity of the salute for Hitler, which can constitute a crime in Germany.
Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng had pointed out today that Bung Moktar’s adulatory comment of Hitler was a slur to Germany rather than a compliment, and falls foul of the country’s denazification laws.
Modern-day Germany has laws that prohibit the distribution or public use of symbols of unconstitutional groups, in particular, flags, insignia, uniforms, slogans and forms of greeting related to the Third Reich and other forms of fascism.
Austrian-born Hitler was the leader of Nazi Germany between 1934 and 1945, and was at the centre of World War II.
Hitler was also behind the Holocaust, the mass extermination and execution of millions of European Jews in concentration camps.