PUTRAJAYA: People should not overreact to the use of the word “pariah” by the Prime Minister recently, says Home Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.
He said facts should be established to determine the context of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s statement and the use of the word.
“I do not know the context of the statement by the Prime Minister, but we need to establish that because it carries different meanings or connotations.
“So, don’t overreact. Let’s establish facts and be rational. It is not likely for the Prime Minister not to know what he is talking about, ” he said after launching the Home Ministry’s Merdeka Day celebration.
The Home Minister was commenting on the move by several Kapar PKR members, who had lodged a police report against Dr Mahathir for using the word “pariah” when commenting on Lynas Corp.
They complained that the use of the word had hurt the feelings of the Indian community, and demanded that the Prime Minister make a public apology.
Dr Mahathir had said that the rare earth producer cannot be treated as an outcast as it is a necessary investment for the country.
“But the people who are against Lynas still want to get rid of Lynas. It is a big investment, RM1.7bil. It creates 700 jobs, high quality paying jobs. It is necessary for our investment.
“And if you treat Lynas like a pariah, and ask them to leave this country, we will not get other people to come into this country and invest, ” the Prime Minister was quoted as saying.
Commenting further, Muhyiddin said the complainants could have possibly misinterpreted what the Prime Minister had said.
"If you want to know what he actually said, why don’t you ask the Prime Minister, ” he said.
On PAS’ demand for updates of investigations into five individuals, including four DAP leaders, Muhyddin said he that police would need to establish if the allegations are true.
“I haven’t got any update on this. We will leave it to the police to investigate, ” he said.
PAS deputy president Datuk Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man said the public have the right to know the progress of the investigations into the DAP leaders who are the subjects of police reports, adding public updates would show that the probes are fair and transparent.
The DAP leaders in question are Penang Deputy Chief Minister II P. Ramasamy, who is alleged to have links with the leadership of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam terror group, Human Resources Minister M. Kulasegaran, who accused the Malays of being pendatang, Selangor exco V. Ganabatirau who is said to have accused Muslim groups of attacking the Sri Mariamman Temple in USJ 25, Subang Jaya.
PAS had also cited Batu Kawan MP Kasthuriraani Patto, who is alleged to have insulted the people of Kelantan by turning a child into an object of entertainment after the state government refused to approve entertainment licenses.
The fifth person which the party wanted police to give a public update on their investigation is Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department P. Waytha Moorthy, who is alleged to have said that the previous administration had mistreated, discriminated and oppressed the Indian community in Malaysia.