Remember your roots, Mahathir
| January 23, 201
NGO tells the former premier that he would not have been a Malaysian if Tunku had not granted citizenships to non-Malays during Merdeka
KUALA LUMPUR: If Tunku Abdul Rahman did not grant citizenships to non-Malays during Merdeka, Dr Mahathir Mohamad would not have been a Malaysian, claimed an NGO.
Malaysian Indian Progressive Association (Mipas) chairman A Rajaretinam made this known during a protest in Brickfields against Mahathir’s call to probe citizenships given during Independence.
The former premier said this in reaction to the damning revelations made in the Sabah RCI, which implicated his administration in granting citizenships to foreigners to reside in Sabah.
Rajaretinam was hinting at Mahathir’s Indian heritage, where the latter’s father was an Indian Muslim immigrant.
Rajaretinam said that not only did Mahathir insult the Tunku with his statement but also the entire Indian community.
He added that the Indians in Malaysia got their citizenships by sacrificing their blood, sweat and tears for the sake of national development, as opposed to the immigrants in Sabah.
“Our ancestors were not refugees. We were brought in by the British government to Malaya to build the country.
“When you talk about plantation, railway and building roads, you will see our ancestors’ sacrifice for the country,” said Rajaretinam.
He also reminded Mahathir that it was the non-Malay votes that saved him from being booted our from office in the late 80s and 90s, when he was at loggerheads with then Umno bigwigs, Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah and Anwar Ibrahim.
Rajaretinam said that he will lodge a police report against Mahathir at the Travers police station later in the evening and urged him to apologise for his remarks within a week.
“We also demand Umno president Najib Tun Razak to state his stand on the matter,” he said.
Also present at the protest, which drew a small crowd of about 20 people, were Sungkai assemblyman A Sivanesan and Angkatan Warga Aman secretary-general S Barathidasan.
Sivanesan said that Mahathir’s statement was seditious as he was questioning the citizenship rights of the non-Malays and also also questioning the merits of our Independence.
Rajaretinam said Mipas and 20 other NGOs are mulling calls to hold another protest gathering on Feb 27.