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Umno tags itself as racist, says PKR man

 | December 8, 2017

Kamarudin Jaffar points to speeches at the party's assembly and predicts that the bigotry will continue to show.

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PETALING JAYA: Tumpat MP Kamarudin Jaffar of PKR has denounced what he says were racially charged remarks made at the Umno assembly, adding that the party was condemning itself to wearing the racist label indefinitely.

He noted racial undertones in delegates’ speeches during Thursday’s meetings of the youth and women’s wings, but directed his criticism mainly at Prime Minister Najib Razak and Wanita chief Shahrizat Abdul Jalil.

Najib, in his keynote address to the general assembly yesterday, described DAP as an anti-Malay and anti-Islam party and spoke of Umno’s kindness to non-Malays, including immigrants from India’s Malabar coast and their descendants.

Shahrizat, in her speech on Thursday, referred to DAP strongman Lim Kit Siang as “Maharaja Lim” and DAP has taken offence, saying she was encouraging the Wanita delegates to make hate speeches.

“Those remarks were enough to show up the party as racist,” Kamarudin said. “It won’t be able to come out of that no matter what Najib says.”

He said he was sure that Malaysians would be hearing more racist speeches from Umno with the approach of the 14th general election.

Political analyst Zainal Kling defended Umno against Kamarudin’s attack, saying it had never been a racist party.

“It has always been an open-minded party although it champions Malay rights,” he said. “The party was formed to take into account the concerns of all Malaysians, and not Malays alone.”

Referring to Najib’s remarks about Malabaris, Zainal disagreed that it was intended as a slur against non-Malays or Malays of mixed ancestry.

He also said no Malaysian could claim to be a pure Malay except the Orang Asli.

“Anyone can be categorised as Malay, as long as he practises Malay culture and principles,” he said. “That is why there should be no issue about the Malabari community being welcomed as Malays.”

We’re so open even Malabaris are Malays, says Najib


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