Sedition report against Mahathir for saying ‘keling’

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PETALING JAYA: A police report has been lodged against a two-month-old video clip showing former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad using the word “keling” which has been widely spread online.

The recording was believed to have been made in May but has only recently been shared.

Former PKR Puchong division head Murali Subramaniam lodged the report at Petaling Jaya police station, Malaysiakini reported earlier today.

The 25-second long video clip shows Mahathir disparaging Prime Minister Najib Razak’s handling of the Islamic State terrorist network, and has caught many people off guard with the use of a derogatory term for Malaysians of Indian descent.

In the video, Mahathir sarcastically said: “On Najib fighting IS, we can see Najib holding a rifle to fight IS. What do the keling say, ‘podah’ (get lost). All lies.”

‘Keling’ was used in colonial times to describe people from the Indian subcontinent and derives from the name Kalinga. Although the word was formerly used commonly, since the 1960s it has been used against Malaysian Indians in a derogatory sense.

The video clip was believed to have been recorded at a ‘Save Malaysia’ event in Langkawi which took place in May.

According to Malaysiakini, Murali urged the police to take action against Mahathir under the Sedition Act for hurting the feelings of Malaysians of Indian descent with his use of the derogatory term.

The report added Mahathir, who was prime minister for over 20 years, should have known better than to use such a word.