UALA LUMPUR, Aug 14 — After tremendous backlash from all quarters, tycoon Koon Yew Yin has issued a public apology to the Malaysian Armed Forces over his statement that the military personnel did nothing but “eat and sleep”.
“I apologise if I had hurt the feelings of the security forces,” he reportedly told Utusan Online through WhatsApp.
However, he remained recalcitrant and insisted that Malaysian soldiers should assist in developing the nation’s economy by working in plantations.
“I should have said that the military is needed to defend us in times of war but in times of peace they should do other jobs to increase our economy,” he reportedly said.
Hours before his apology, Koon had arrogantly said he had a right to “criticise” how the military operates because he is a “taxpayer”.
His words drew the ire of retired servicemen group Patriot, Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) and Opposition party Umno, among others, for insulting the armed forces.
PSM hblasted Koon, reminding the wealthy entrepreneur that while he slept soundly, Malaysian soldiers are patrolling the nation’s borders every day.
This is not the first time that the IJM founder had made demeaning remarks against national institutions.
Previously, he had accused the late Sultan Azlan Shah of Perak of corruption and selling state titles to businessmen.
This led to Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Faizal Azumu stripping him of his appointment in the Perak State Economic Advisory Council.
Koon was also known to be on friendly terms with the late Chin Peng, who was the former head of the Malaysian Communist Party — a group had slaughtered many servicemen and civilians in their bid to dominate Malaysia during the nation’s infancy.
He had previously written of his visit to Chin Peng in Bangkok back in 2011, when he heard the latter was ill, and called for the then Barisan Nasional government to forgive the traitor and allow him back onto Malaysian soil.