SHAH ALAM, Oct 18 — Datuk Seri Najib Razak told the local Chinese community today that they are not “pendatang” (immigrants), calling them instead the “sons of Malaysia”.
The prime minister said the ethnic Chinese have aided in the country’s “spectacular” progress, amid the controversy stemming from anti-Chinese remarks made at the recent government-sanctioned September 16 “Red Shirts” rally.
“As far as I’m concerned, Malaysian Chinese have contributed to the development of Malaysia, to the growth of Malaysia, to the spectacular growth of Malaysia, you played your part. That is why you are not ‘pendatang’. You are the sons of Malaysia,” Najib said in a speech at Gerakan’s 44th National Delegates Conference here today,
“You were born here, you grew up here, and when the time comes, when you die, you’ll be buried here. Or your ashes will be scattered somewhere in Malaysia,” the prime minister added.
At the pro-Malay “Red Shirts” rally attended by Umno leaders such as former Malacca Chief Minister Tan Sri Mohd Ali Rustam, placards demanding the abolition of Chinese vernacular schools were displayed.
One demonstrator was also recorded calling an ethnic Chinese journalist “Cina babi” (Chinese pig), among others.
Najib said today that he grew up with many Chinese and Indian friends as there were only a couple of Malays in his classes at St John’s Institution.
“I was comfortable with them. I didn’t judge them by the colour of their skin, but the strength of their character. That is what we want in Malaysia. We must look at each other as fellow human beings and judge them by the content of their character,” said the Umno president.
“There are good Malays, good Chinese, good Indians. There are also bad Malays, bad Chinese, bad Indians. There are also Malay gangsters, Chinese gangsters and Indian gangsters. Lately there are more Indian gangsters,” Najib added, jokingly.
He urged Malaysians not to “worry too much about one or two individuals”, but to be clear that the future direction of the country would be based on the Federal Constitution and the social contract, an unwritten quid pro quo deal with the Bumiputera communities that was purportedly agreed upon before Independence in 1957 that grants citizenship to the immigrant Chinese and Indians in exchange for Malays receiving certain privileges.