Claims of racial discord just opposition ploy, say PH duo

Hannah Yeoh, MP for Segambut, and Khalid Samad, minister for Federal Territories, played down talk of racial discord.

KUALA LUMPUR: A minister and a deputy minister have disputed claims about increasing racial and religious tensions under a Pakatan Harapan government, and said the claims were mere opposition ploys to create discord.

Federal Territories minister Khalid Samad, speaking at a Christmas celebration in Desa ParkCity here this evening, said the complaints were just ploys by the opposition. “There are some groups who do not want to see the country united due to their own political interests,” he said.

The MP for Segambut, Hannah Yeoh, who is a deputy minister for women’s affairs, also said that talk about racial tensions was overstated and “very exaggerated”.

“If you look around, you’ll see that things are good,” she told FMT, adding that Malaysians did not tolerate extremism.

Khalid in his speech said: “People always ask me why there was no racial or religious conflict when BN (Barisan Nasional) was in power, but now that PH is in government, we always hear about racial and religious conflict.

“I told them it’s simple. When we were the opposition, we never used race or religion to create animosity… We focused on good governance, corruption, transparency. Now that we are in government, the opposition can’t take issue with this – their leaders are all facing charges in court. Their only way is to use race and religion to create discontent,” he added.

He said he was confident that those who used race and religion to create discord would not succeed.

Yeoh said: “What we should be doing is practicing these things that Christmas stands for – peace, love and gratefulness – all year round, not just during Christmas.”

The Christmas celebration was held in her parliamentary constituency.