DAP minister mulls suing Umno Youth man for racial portrayal

M. Kulasegaran explained that he was speaking in Tamil to show solidarity with the local community. ― Picture by Miera Zulyana
M. Kulasegaran explained that he was speaking in Tamil to show solidarity with the local community. ― Picture by Miera Zulyana

KUALA LUMPUR, April 13 — DAP lawmaker M. Kulasegaran has denied that he is racist as portrayed in a recent video uploaded on YouTube that is spreading on social media.

The Ipoh Barat MP, who is also human resources minister, sought to clarify the video of his speech while on the campaign trail for the Rantau by-election, which he said did not provide the context for his remarks made in Tamil and which were subtitled in Malay.

“I am contemplating legal action against the Umno youth leader,” he wrote on his Facebook page, in response to an “Umno Youth Leader” whom he did not name.

“I was criticising Umno in my speech and not Malays, Umno is only a party and does not represent all Malays,” he said.

He also rejected accusations that he had insulted the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and the Permaisuri Agong, calling such claims “outrageous”.

“What I referred to was ‘those living as King and Queen’ which means certain individuals who own luxury houses while others are not able to afford it,” he said.

He explained that he was speaking in Tamil to show solidarity with the local community as he was among ethnic Indians at a local restaurant in Rantau.

He accused Umno and PAS of “forging an ethno-centric alliance” using DAP as a “punching bag” for their extreme views.

“My statements have been interpreted in extreme form and I would like to remind Umno Youth that the Malay community is not just made up of Umno supporters,” he added.

A 58-second clip of Kulasegaran speaking in Tamil urging local Indians to vote for PH candidate Dr S. Streram has been going viral on social media.

In the clip, Kulasegaran was subtitled saying he would be embarrassed if the Indian voters there did not vote for PH.

Leaders from the ruling coalition have emphasised that they chose Dr Streram instead of a Malay candidate in the Malay majority semi-rural seat to show PH is for all and not just one racial community.

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