'Don't make the Chinese scapegoats'

'Don't make the Chinese scapegoats'
Deputy Education Minister Chong Sin Woo (left) says the Malaysian Chinese are owed an apology from Deputy Agriculture and Agro-based Industries Minister Datuk Seri Tajuddin Abdul Rahman.

Two MCA leaders have joined the call for Deputy Agriculture and Agro-based Industries Minister Tajuddin Abdul Rahman to apologise for his "slap" remarks on Malaysian Chinese.

Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA) secretary-general Ong Ka Chuan said that Mr Tajuddin's remarks on Thursday had seriously offended all Malaysian Chinese and the party will lodge a formal protest via the Barisan Nasional channel for action to be taken against him.

"We want Tajuddin to apologise to the people of Malaysia for his damaging remark.

"As a deputy minister, he should check his facts before making statements instead of recklessly commenting on the Malaysian Chinese community," he said.

This came after reports that Mr Tajuddin had used words such as lempang and tampar (to slap) on Chinese who highlighted complaints outside the country. On Thursday, he denied using such words.

Malaysia's deputy education minister Chong Sin Woon said that the Chinese should not be made scapegoats for problems the country is facing.

Mr Chong, who is also the MCA Youth Chief, said he was aware that Mr Tajuddin has denied making the statement, but revealed that MCA would be taking the matter to the Barisan Nasional Supreme Council, reported Malaysia's The Star.

"If confirmed (Tajuddin has said) he wants to 'melempang' (slap) the Chinese, then he should apologise immediately to all Chinese in this country," Mr Chong told reporters at an event yesterday.

He said the country has no room for extremists and racists and he questioned Mr Tajuddin's basis for "accusing that local Chinese are seeking for help from China".

Mr Chong pointed out that politicians from "other parties" had made police reports in foreign countries, but none of them was Chinese.

He refused to comment further, saying the country will be peaceful if ministers focused on their portfolio instead of making racists remarks.


In his denial, Mr Tajuddin told the Star Online: "How can I use the word 'lempang' and so on? That is schoolchildren's language."

He said such words "are not suitable for a veteran politician like me."

"I am not a young boy. How can I use words like that? How can I use stupid words like that!" he said.

However, recordings put up by news portals show that he did use the word, although he laughed it off immediately.

Mr Tajuddin admitted that he had requested for the Malaysian Chinese to settle matters internally and not take issues abroad.

This article was first published on October 3, 2015.
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