Understand context in which ‘pariah’ was used by PM, urges Muhyiddin

Home Minister Muhyiddin Yassin.

PUTRAJAYA: There needs to be some form of rationality in understanding the context of the word “pariah” used by Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad when commenting on Lynas Malaysia Corp recently, Home Minister Muhyiddin Yasin said today.

“Don’t overreact. I think we need to establish the facts and be rational. Because of certain things, a police report was immediately lodged.

“It is not likely for the prime minister not to know what he is talking about,” he said when commenting on the police report lodged by several Kapar PKR members against Mahathir for using the word “pariah” when commenting on the Lynas issue.

According to an online news portal, in the report, lodged at the Sungai Kapar police station, V Maneyvannan had condemned the use of the word, saying that it had hurt the feelings of the Indian community.

Mahathir was reported to have said that rare earths producer Lynas should not be treated as a “pariah” and told to stop production and leave the country as the move would be detrimental to the government’s efforts in attracting foreign direct investments.

Muhyiddin, when speaking to reporters after the launch of the home ministry’s National Month celebration, said the whole matter had been grossly misinterpreted.

“So this is an issue of the context in which the word was used and not what you think it is because when you mention ‘pariah’, please do not think that it relates to Indians… that is not right,” he said.