Saturday September 23, 2006
PM: Nobody is marginalised in Malaysia
LONDON: No community is being marginalised in Malaysia, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.
Stressing that this was a fact, he said the progress achieved by the country’s multi-racial communities showed that no one had been sidelined.
Abdullah said the success of the Chinese community, for instance, was clearly reflected through their participation in various fields.
Abdullah said the Barisan Nasional was a responsible government that looked after the interests of all the communities.
The Chinese, through the MCA and other parties, are involved in the government's power-sharing process, he told Malaysian journalists after meeting Malaysian students at the Malaysian High Commission here on Friday.
Abdullah was responding to former Singapore Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew's statement that the Chinese communities in Malaysia and Indonesia were systematically marginalised because they were successful and hardworking.
On Sept 15, Reuters quoted Lee, who is Minister Mentor for the island republic, as saying it was vital for the predominantly ethnic Chinese state to stand up to its two bigger, majority Muslim neighbours.
"We do not marginalise anyone in the implementation of our programmes," he said.
Earlier, Abdullah likened the comparison in economic development between Malaysia and Singapore to that of a ciku and durian.
"It's not for comparison. Singapore did well because it is only a city state specialising in areas such as its airport as well as financial and banking services," he said, adding that the Klang Valley could be compared favourably with the republic.
In New York, Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar questioned Lee's motive in making the statement.
“I’m at a loss as to what his intention is. It is a very dangerous statement,” Syed Hamid, who is in New York to attend the UN general assembly, told newsmen.
"As a good and friendly neighbour, why must he instigate the people to be dissatisfied with the Government?” he asked, pointing out that the Chinese in Malaysia had succeeded in all sectors.
On the UN general assembly, Syed Hamid said he found the meeting to be useful not just in renewing contacts but for Malaysia to remain visible on the global stage.
“I am heartened when developing countries supported and congratulated us for our role in organisations like the Non-Aligned Movement.”
Syed Hamid also said that Asean foreign ministers had expressed hope that democracy could run its course in Thailand as soon as possible.
“A change in government through a military coup is not an accepted way,” he said.