KUALA LUMPUR: Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu today broke his silence on a comment deemed insulting to the armed forces by a prominent pro-Pakatan Harapan (PH) tycoon, accusing social media users however of being selective.
Referring to the remarks made by Perak tycoon Koon Yew Yin, Mohamad said those who criticise the military could be considered enemies of the nation.
Koon had said Malaysia’s armed forces personnel “are doing nothing except eating and sleeping”, and proposed that they be recruited as labourers in plantations. The businessman has since apologised for the remarks.
Mohamad, who came under attack on social media as well as from opposition politicians for not condemning Koon’s remarks, said many people forgot the role of the country’s security forces during times of peace.
“To us, anyone who insults the Malaysian armed forces, they are enemies of the nation. It is a disgusting act and unacceptable,” he told reporters at the defence ministry here.
Yesterday, the home ministry announced that police would summon Koon over the blog post.
Mohamad meanwhile questioned Koon’s critics on social media, saying some were selective as they only spoke up because Koon is a non-Malay.
He said similar remarks were also made by a former Sabah chief minister, in an apparent reference to Harris Salleh.
“When the former Sabah chief minister told our armed forces personnel to work as security guards and the female members to work as maids and cleaners, there was no outrage,” he said.
“But people become angry and defend the military when this millionaire says our soldiers only eat and sleep and are better off working in plantations.
“I sense racial sentiments here. Why were the netizens quiet when a Muslim criticised the armed forces, but when this millionaire did the same, they became riled up?”
Mohamad said it was the armed forces’ hard work which ensures peace in the country, allowing businesses to make a profit.
On whether he accepts Koon’s apology, Mohamad said it was not up to him and that the case should be left to the police.