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Friday, 27 June 2014 | MYT 10:45 PM

Salleh Keruak: Ibrahim Ali's "Petronas is Malay" statement very racist

PETALING JAYA: Sabah Speaker Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak has censured Perkasa chief Datuk Ibrahim Ali over the latter's statement calling for the resignation of Petronas chief executive Tan Sri Shamsul Azhar Abbas.

Ibrahim's outburst came as a result of Shamsul Azhar's comments that the national oil firm belonged to all Malaysians.

Ibrahim was quoted in a statement as insisting that Petronas was built via the efforts of the Malays and, therefore, should belonged to the Malays.

Salleh said in his blog that such a statement from Ibrahim "not only defies logic but is unnecessarily provocative and utmost racist in nature."

He said even a novice politician would know that oil and gas are national assets and "Petronas belongs to the nation and not just one race."

"I can subscribe to Malay nationalism and quite understand that some Malays would like to uphold their ideals of Malay nationalism.

"This is what democracy and freedom of choice is all about anyway,” said Salleh, the former state Chief Minister.

"But there is a fine line between nationalism and racism and that Malaysians must be very careful that they do not cross the line.

"If Ibrahim Ali wants to adopt the stand that Petronas belongs to the Malays then what is there to stop the citizens of Sabah and Sarawak to also claim that Petronas belongs to them or for the Terengganu citizens to claim that Petronas belongs to them?

"After all, these are the three states that ‘own’ the oil and gas so would this claim not be accurate and justified?” Salleh said.

According to Salleh, oil and gas did belong to Sabah, Sarawak and Terengganu but in 1974, they became national assets through an Act of Parliament. Petronas was formed to manage this national asset.

“The status of Petronas was decided by an Act of Parliament.

"The New Economic Policy or the Bumiputera Economic Empowerment Agenda are not Acts of Parliament.

“It is merely an aspiration or hasrat and hence not ‘legal’ in the real sense of legality.

"You cannot arrest and jail someone if that person refuses to abide by the aspirations of the NEP,” said Salleh.

He urged Ibrahim to reconsider his stand on the matter and recognise the fact that what belongs to the nation belongs to the nation and the nation does not comprise of only one race.


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