KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 16 — Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi condemned today a conservative Muslim coalition’s claim that only the Malays had fought against communists, British colonialists, and Japanese occupiers.
At a press conference at the Malaysian Institute of Integrity here today, Zahid, who is also the home minister, said the claim was incorrect as history had recorded many contributions from ethnic minorities.
“Even if you read our history books or speak to our great historian Tan Sri Prof Dr Khoo Kay Kim, you would know that the battles against communists involved various ethnicities, not just the Malays,” said Zahid.
“In this case, to say that only the Malays had fought in the name of the nation is unfair. Malaysia is made up of multi-racial groups who would come together under the name of unity to fight enemies who would want to destroy the nation’s peace and harmony,” he told reporters after an intellectual discussion themed “Building A Nation With Integrity” here today.
Ismail Mina Ahmad, chairman of a coalition of conservative Muslim groups called Ummah, had claimed during a convention last Saturday that only the Malays had resisted the British colonists, Japanese occupiers and battled against Communist insurgents.
This has since triggered public outcry, including from the Malaysian Armed Forces Chinese Veterans Association who said some of them had scars and had received gallantry awards for their service.