KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 3 — Putrajaya must sack Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob if the minister refuses to step down voluntarily over his alleged attempt to incite racial tension by calling for a boycott of Chinese-owned business, Negara-Ku said today.
The civil rights movement, in joining the growing chorus of disapproval against Ismail Sabri, accused the minister of “inciting hostility and sowing enmity” with his racially-driven remarks.
Stressing the importance of safeguarding racial harmony in Malaysia, the group said “ethnocentric and communally-minded” politicians should not be allowed to derail the process of inclusive nation building.
“As such, we demand that he resigns his post immediately, failing which, we demand that the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak terminates the services of Ismail Sabri as a member of the federal Cabinet.
“This would give a clear signal to the people that the government will not condone any action by any person, to incite hatred in our multi-ethnic, multi-faith, multi-cultural society and to undermine the unity of our beloved Nation,” the group’s steering committee said in a statement today as debate raged on over Ismail Sabri’s remarks.
The group was referring to Ismail Sabri’s allegation in a Facebook posting that the Chinese will purportedly take advantage and oppress the Malays if the Malays fail to change as inciting hostile sentiments.
In a previous post that has since been removed, Ismail Sabri also told the Malays to fight against unscrupulous Chinese traders by boycotting their establishments.
After much backlash over his posting, including from those in the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition, the Umno politician attempted yesterday to fend off criticism by saying he was not criticising the entire ethnic community but just profiteering businesses.
The federal minister also claimed the traders’ failure to lower prices despite a reduction in fuel costs was a form of sabotage intended to foment disaffection towards the government, which he said was wrongly blamed by consumers for rising cost of living.
Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar said yesterday that the police will investigate Ismail Sabri over his remarks.