KUALA LUMPUR: The controversy over a comic book on the Belt and Road project has become comical, says MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong (pic).
Malaysians, he said, had a right to know how the comic, which has since been banned by the Home Ministry, was handed over to Chinese President Xi Jinping.
“There are pictures showing Xi looking at the comic in the presence of the Prime Minister. How was Xi even handed the comic and who authorised it?
“Surely we have a right to know, ” he said in a statement Thursday (Oct 24).
Dr Wee urged Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Abdullah and Special Envoy to China Tan Kok Wai to provide an explanation.
“Surely, Tan will know the circumstances well, he should not merely keep silent, ” he said.
Tan is also DAP MP for Cheras and had appointed Hew Kuan Yau, the author of the comic book, the chief executive officer of the Malaysia-China Business Council.
Hew, who is popularly known as Superman Hee, is closely linked to the DAP, and is curator of the Penang-based Asia Comics and Cultural Museum.
Dr Wee said it was impossible for Tan not to know the contents of the comic, adding that the foreword was written by DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng.
The Home Ministry banned the comic book “Belt and Road Initiative for Win-Winism”, saying it promoted communism and socialism ideologies, among other things.
It also said that publication seemed to have not taken into account the sensitivities of a multi-racial and multi-religious Malaysia.
“This whole episode has made Malaysia and the Pakatan Harapan government a laughingstock.
“A comic book, which has some form of involvement by the Federal Government, is now banned by the government.
“Worse, the book was read in the presence of the PM, ” said Dr Wee.
He also asked if taxpayers’ money is being used in the running of the Malaysian-Chinese Business Council and if the Penang state government supported the Asia Comics and Cultural Museum as it was based at Komtar, where state government offices are located.
He said although Hew was officially a former DAP member, he was still influential in the party, noting that the fiery orator had only left the party because of the many negative controversies concerning him.
With his fondness for wearing T-shirts with the superhero’s crest at DAP events, Hew stirred controversy for allegedly playing up racial issues at a ceramah in Sarawak in 2016.
Dr Wee said it was farcical that the Pakatan government, via the Home Ministry, had banned a comic book when Pakatan leaders used to hit out at the then Barisan Nasional government for banning comic books.
“We have a comical character, the self-declared Superman Hew, a banned comic book and the errors of comedy involving the Prime Minister’s Office, Foreign Ministry and Special Envoy to China.
“I am sure Beijing must be wondering what’s happening in Malaysia as the actions are all super confusing.
“First, the PM offended India with his remarks on Kashmir. Now, Beijing must be trying to read what this is all about, ” he said.
Dr Wee also expressed concern over Dr Mahathir’s handling of Malaysia’s foreign relations.
“Let’s not offend the big powers anymore. We cannot afford to make India or China angry with unwarranted remarks.”
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