Tense moment at Johor assembly over use of ‘Anak Cina’ in poem

KOTA ISKANDAR, Nov 29 — Johor Legislative Assembly Speaker Tan Sri Mohamad Aziz defused a tense moment at today’s sitting over the use of the word ‘Chinese’ in a poem rendered by an assemblyman.

Ali Mazat Salleh (BN-Bukit Permai) had launched into his pantun (poem) during the debate on the 2018 Johor Budget when Yeo Tung Siong (DAP-Pekan Nenas) objected to the use of the word, saying it had racial overtones, and requested Mohamad Aziz to dismiss Ali Mazat from the house.

Yeo was backed by Tan Hong Ping (DAP-Mengkibol), Yeo Tung Siong (DAP-Pekan Nanas) and Gan Peck Cheng (DAP-Penggaram).

Hong Ping said the use of the word did not at all reflect the concept of Bangsa Johor (the Johor  Community).

Mohammad advised the Opposition assemblymen to remain calm and Ali Mazat resumed his speech by replacing the words Anak Cina with Anak Ali in the poem.

Ali Mazat told reporters outside the assembly that he had no intention of raising racial sentiments and said the poem had been written in the 70s.

“I have no desire to insult the Chinese. The poem is an old one which was common among school children then.

“Is that racial? I hope the members of the house would be more rational and understand the culture of us Malaysians,” he said. — Bernama

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