Amanah minister says agrees with Dr M, not racist for an ethnic group to discuss its problems

Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad attends the Malay Dignity Congress at Stadium Malawati in Shah Alam October 6, 2019. — Picture by Hari Anggara
Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad attends the Malay Dignity Congress at Stadium Malawati in Shah Alam October 6, 2019. — Picture by Hari Anggara

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 27 — It is not racist for a specific race to organise a gathering to discuss its own communal problems within the country, Khalid Samad tweeted today.

The Federal Territories minister was clarifying news reports citing him as refuting Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s complaint that the Malay Dignity Congress earlier this month had been called “racist” allegedly for being a meeting of Malay community leaders.

“I AGREE with Tun that when a race holds a gathering for itself to discuss its problems and the country, it is NOT racist. Indeed, it is its right. Why is it said that I refuted Dr Mahathir?” Khalid posted in Malay on his official Twitter account this morning.

To it, he attached a news report in Malay by local broadcaster Astro Awani.

The Amanah communications director sought to correct the perception that he was contradicting the prime minister with his earlier tweet about the congress that had also been reported.

Yesterday, Khalid said the congress was called racist due to the attendees’ incendiary comments that “work to create racial hatred and strife” rather than solely because of their ethnicity.

His initial tweet came after Dr Mahathir, who is also Bersatu chairman, defended the congress and its organiser in a blog post on Friday.

Dr Mahathir was the guest-of-honour at the October 6 congress co-organised by four public universities, which was also attended by Umno secretary-general Tan Sri Annuar Musa and PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang.

The police are investigating the congress under Section 505b of Penal Code for causing public mischief and Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act.

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