Media Statement by Dr. Ong Kian Ming, MP for Serdang, on the 3rd of February 2015
Article 3 (1) e of the Sedition Act states that “A ‘seditious tendency’ is a tendency—to promote feelings of ill will and hostility between different races or classes of the population of Malaysia.”
The Facebook statement by the Minister of Agriculture and Agro Industry, Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri, which called for Malays to boycott Chinese traders, has undoubtedly raised feelings of ill will and hatred among Malays towards not just Chinese traders but the Chinese community in general.
This is evident by some of the comments on Ismail Sabri’s Facebook page, a few of which are featured below:
There is a comment which characterizes Chinese traders as leeches and calls for the Malays to declare war on this group of people. There is a comment which accuses the Chinese of insulting the Malays. There is a comment which says that the Chinese are ‘bangsat’, an insulting and vulgar term. There is a comment which uses this example as ‘proof’ that the Malays are being victimized by the Chinese.
Ismail Sabri’s statement is baseless, irresponsible and has heightened feelings of hatred and ill will towards the Chinese in general.
There are many reasons why traders, regardless of race, have not decreased their prices even though the price of petrol has dropped. The price of petrol comprises a small component of the cost of goods. Even though the price of petrol has dropped, the wages of workers have not dropped, the price of electricity has not dropped, the price of cooking gas has not dropped, and the price of cars have not dropped, just to give a few examples. In addition, because of the depreciation of the ringgit, the price of imported goods have not only not dropped but have increased!
I call upon the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, as a Prime Minister who is tasked with the responsibility of safeguarding ethnic relations between the races in our country, to instruct Ismail Sabri to apologize for his statement and to retract his baseless accusations against the Chinese traders. If the Prime Minister fails to do so, he should take his 1 Malaysia slogan and throw it in the dustbin.