Mahathir adding fuel to fire by labelling Dong Zong racist, says Sarawak party

Parti Bumi Kenyalang (PBK) president Voon Lee Shan.

KUCHING: Parti Bumi Kenyalang (PBK) has accused Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad of adding fuel to the fire by labelling Chinese education group Dong Zong as “racist”.

Its president, Voon Lee Shan, said Mahathir should be more careful for such a statement could inflame some groups as matters of race, religion and royalty were sensitive.

“We are all Malaysians so he (Mahathir) should understand that he cannot simply play with fire,” he said at a press conference here today.

Voon said Mahathir’s statement could spark trouble among the people, especially as Putrajaya’s plan to implement khat in the Year 4 Bahasa Melayu subject next year and the refusal to hand over Islamic preacher Zakir Naik to the Indian authorities were being “hotly” debated.

He said Sarawakians must understand that Sarawak could only get rid of this “problem” if they were to manage Sarawak on their own.

“I hope Sarawak Chief Minister Abang Johari Openg will discuss this with Mahathir. Why should we be entangled in this issue? We must understand that Sarawak was a sovereign country once.

“Sarawak has the right to make its own decisions in terms of its future, education and upbringing of her future generations,” he said.

Meanwhile, Movement of Change for Sarawak (MoCS) founder Francis Paul Siah also said Sarawak should consider going its separate way as the priorities for Sarawak and Malaya were poles apart.

He told FMT the controversies surrounding khat and deportation of Naik were all created by the people in Malaya. Such divisive issues should not be brought into Sarawak, he said.

Siah said Sarawakians had their own priorities and wanted to continue moving forward as peaceful, loving and tolerant people.

“The 3Rs (race, religion and royalty), which the people in Malaya have constantly been fighting over, have zero bearing for Sarawakians. These are non-issues to us,” he said.