GEORGE TOWN, Aug 7 — Penang Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) today slammed DAP’s P. Ramasamy for his criticism of the federal government over the introduction of khat in primary schools next year.
Penang Bersatu Information Chief Khaliq Mehtab Mohd Ishaq said the Penang lawmaker’s hasty criticism in opposing the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government’s policy made it seem as though he was not part of the ruling coalition.
“The Deputy Chief Minister II’s statement on the introduction of khat in vernacular schools was not in line with the spirit of PH and he was behaving as if he is from the Opposition,” he said in a statement today.
He said Ramasamy’s statement was regrettable and an embarrassment to PH.
“Such behaviour will only weaken PH and the public is already tired of political leaders who only think of their own political survival without considering the consequences of their actions,” he said.
He said Ramasamy should think about working together with the federal government instead of opposing its decision like an Opposition leader.
“His behaviour in openly criticising our Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Education Minister Maszlee Malik is rude,” he said.
While Khaliq conceded that PH is open to criticism, he said Ramasamy should have brought his suggestions and criticisms to the PH leadership council at the state level to be discussed internally.
“Did he forget that he is a Penang Deputy Chief Minister II under PH?” he asked.
He said Ramasamy should support the re-introduction of khat, an Islamic art that is not dissimilar to Chinese calligraphy.
“He must remember that the government has emphasised that khat will not be a compulsory subject,” he said.
He reminded Ramasamy to think of ways to promote unity among the people in Penang and Malaysia instead of being a “thorn in one’s flesh” within the PH government.
“Ramasamy, stop your drama,” he told the Penang state exco.
Khaliq was responding to Ramasamy’s statement on his Facebook questioning the government for “blindly” implementing khat which was from the previous Barisan Nasional (BN) government’s policy.
Earlier today, Penang Bersatu Youth also issued a statement slamming Ramasamy over his statement.
They called on Ramasamy to resign as the education committee chairman and demanded that the portfolio be handed to another leader with better vision to develop the education agenda in the state.
Ramasamy currently holds the state economic planning, education, human resource development and science, technology and innovation portfolios.
The Penang Bersatu Youth also labelled Ramasamy a “racist and extremist” and accused him of not fulfilling his duties as an exco in charge of education.