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Bugis association demands Mahathir apologise over ‘pirate’ jibe

 | October 17, 2017

Samsul Alang Hamsah, president of a Bugis association in Sabah, says the former prime minister’s words at a Pakatan Harapan rally were unbecoming of a leader who once ruled over multiracial Malaysia.

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PETALING JAYA: The Malaysia United Bugis Cluster Association Sabah has demanded an apology from PPBM chairman Dr Mahathir Mohamad for allegedly referring to Bugis people as “pirates” at a Pakatan Harapan (PH) rally last Saturday.

Its president Samsul Alang Hamsah said the remark was unbecoming of a former prime minister who had for 22 years helmed Malaysia as a nation known for its diverse ethnic groups, religions and cultures.

“Are these the words that should come from a so-called leader of the people of Malaysia? Does he not realise that Malaysia is a melting pot of indigenous people and migrants?” he said.

He said Mahathir’s act in allegedly branding Bugis people as “lanun” or pirates was akin to insulting Chinese people as being gangsters or triad members.

“He should remember that he is also the son of an immigrant,” Samsul said.

“Would he like it if someone told his forefathers “ to go back to Kerala?” he said.

Mahathir’s paternal ancestry is known to be from the state of Kerala in India.

Samsul said the words uttered by Mahathir at the rally were not only offensive to the Bugis community but were also reckless as he was playing the racial card in his politicking.

Mahathir, 92, had claimed at the “Love Malaysia, End Kleptocracy” rally organised by PH at Padang Timur in Petaling Jaya that Malaysia was being led by a prime minister who was “a thief, bandit, a robber”.

“This is our country today. This kind of thing where a prime minister is a robber has never happened before,” he said, referring to current prime minister Najib Razak.

“Yes, it may be because he comes from Bugis pirates. We don’t know how he got lost and reached Malaysia.

Samsul said Mahathir’s grievance with Najib had clouded his judgment and conduct in the public arena.

“I sincerely hope that the people can see that this once revered leader has stooped so low in his mission to topple a leader that he is willing to offend an entire race of people who are genuine citizens of Malaysia,” he said.

He said Mahathir should be imparting wisdom and guidance to the younger generation in his twilight years, instead of being divisive and causing disharmony among the people.

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