PETALING JAYA: MIC treasurer-general Datuk Seri S. Vell Paari slammed Mokhzani Mahathir for "disrespecting" 1Malaysia People's Aid (BR1M) recipients and called for him to apologise to them.
Mokhzani, a businessman and Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad's second son, was reported as saying that receiving BR1M is "nothing to shout about".
The businessman had said that the Government likes to trumpet the fact that they area handing out money, but the reality was that BR1M was needed because the people cannot afford to fend for themselves.
Mokhzani reportedly said that Malaysians "can be proud and be like champions when we are rich. We can feel great with our own hard-earned money. That is what's important. It is not about people giving us money so we can survive. That is not greatness."
In a statement on Friday (May 4), Vell Paari said that this showed how arrogant Mokhzani is and how he had "lost touch with the common people".
Vell Paari said that he should "stop looking down and disrespecting the people who receive BR1M".
"Not everyone in Malaysia is the son of a former prime minister for 22 years and who is now a multi-billionaire.
"There are people in this country who work to find a living honestly and do need assistance from time to time," he said.
Vell Paari said that the Government is aware of that some Malaysians need assistance and provides it accordingly.
He said that even Pakatan Harapan in their manifesto said it would keep on distributing BR1M.
"The reason is simple because Pakatan knows that BR1M is a very good initiative by the Barisan Nasional government and that is why Pakatan is maintaining it," he said.