Friday , June 9 2023

Dr M renews attacks on "racist" Dong Zong


Dr Mahathir Mohamad says there is freedom of expression "but we are always sensitive about not encouraging people".

Updated SEPANG: Dr Mahathir Mohamad today again launched a scary attack on Chinese education group Dong Zong, but has ceased to say whether the government will ban the organization amid an online petition that has obtained tens of thousands of signatures.

This comes a day after the prime minister called Dong Zong "racist" after the group launched its own petition to counter the move to introduce khat lessons in Bahasa Melayu software next year.

"We have freedom of expression, but we are always sensitive about encouraging different races to fight each other," he told reporters today after attending the 21st annual celebration of Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA).

Also present were Loke Siew Fook, Transport Minister Raja Azmi Raja Nazuddin, President of Malaysian Airport, Zainun Ali, President of Malaysian Airport and Selangor Menteri Besar Amirudin Shari.

Mahathir said police are deciding whether to investigate Dong Zong or not.

But he warned that Dong Zong would violate the laws of the country "if it incites people to fight each other."

During his latest attacks on Dong Zong, he said the organization had "never fought for Malaysia but for one race in the country".

"When you do something, you have to think what the other race is saying. And if they are not happy, you have to try and accommodate. But Dong Zong has never said a word about Malaysia, it is always about Chinese education. Even when I suggested that we have this Vawasan School to bring people together, Dong Zong has objected to this, because it means Malay and Chinese children are coming together.

"What's wrong with Malaysians, Chinese and others going to school together? I went to a school where there were all races, the Benggalis (Punjabi), Indians, Chinese.

"That being said, it (Dong Zong) is a racist organization, completely dedicated to the racial defense of its own community," Mahathir said.

Asked to comment on the statement by Indian preacher Dr Zakir Naik, Hindus in Malaysia were more loyal to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi than he was, Mahathir said:

"You can ask them. How can you ask me, I wouldn't know. "

The controversial preacher's statement at a lecture recently drew bricks from DAP leaders, including Human Resources Minister M Kula Segaran.

Mahathir renewed his government's commitment to protect Naik.

"We can't send him back because he risks being killed. But if any country wants to have him, they are welcome."

At press time, a petition calling on the government to ban Dong Zong collected more than 60,000 signatures. The petition was initiated by Malayan right-wing movement Gerakan Pengundi Sedar (GPS).

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