KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 8 — Former MCA president Tan Sri Ong Tee Keat said today he is not convinced the mutiracial Barisan Nasional (BN) can stamp out racism, despite its top leadership’s denunciation of extremism.
To back his argument, he pointed to the silence from the ruling coalition’s central leaders after Umno deputy minister and federal lawmaker Datuk Tajuddin Abdul Rahman allegedly threatened to “slap” ethnic Chinese for their purported disrespect to the country’s Malays.
“I could not help but to be mindful of the remark by Tajuddin. That by itself is an open defiance against MCA...until today, even with evidences, I have yet to see any convincing ways of handling the issue or controversy within BN,” Ong told reporters at an event in Seri Kembangan.
The former transport minister said anyone would be angry if someone threatened to slap them.
“Any human would have disagreed if particular ethnic group said they want to give one tight slap to you,” he said.
Tajuddin was under fire recently for saying that he would “slap” the ethnic Chinese and some demanded he apologise.
Tajuddin’s remark was ostensibly in response to a comment by Chinese ambassador to Malaysia Huang Huikang in Petaling Street last week, that Beijing would not hesitate to speak out against any threat that may affect the country’s ties with Malaysia, in commenting on the communal tension here.
Both MCA and Gerakan said they will issue a formal protest note and ask the coalition leadership to punish the Perak lawmaker.