Issue of communist-themed decorations in restaurant shouldn't be blown out of proportion, says Ti

PETALING JAYA: Datuk Seri Ti Lian Ker has called for calm over an incident in Penang where the owners of a restaurant are being investigated for allegedly having Communist-themed decorations at the premises.

The Deputy National Unity Minister said such incidents were localised and isolated and could be easily resolved without having to reopen old wounds.

"It shouldn't be blown out of proportion. Our ministry has mediators who can address such issues and nip them in the bud so that it is not exploited or sensationalised by irresponsible parties," he said.

Ti, who is also MCA vice-president, added that while the Communist insurgency left a black mark in Malaysia's history, it is a chapter that has since been considered closed, and focus should now be given to more current challenges and issues.

"Communism is an old wound and we have closed that chapter. Today, we have established good and close diplomatic ties with China.

"We should be moving forward and not revisit old issues," he said.

Ti said this when asked to comment about authorities taking action on a restaurant in Bukit Mertajam which displayed artwork similar to that of Communist propaganda posters in China on Saturday (Jan 2).

The owner of the eatery has since explained that while the interior decoration may bear some resemblance to Communist propaganda posters, the content was more light-hearted and had more to do with food than promoting the ideology.

Authorities have since stripped and confiscated the restaurant's wallpaper, which featured caricatures of Chinese Communist revolutionary leader Mao Zedong.

They also seized four small cups bearing Mao's face and detained the 23-year-old restaurant manager for further investigations.

The same wallpaper at the restaurant's branch in Pulau Tikus was also removed.

Police are now investigating the motive for the Communist-themed decorations under Section 47 of the Societies Act for publishing propaganda of an unlawful society and Section 505(b) of the Penal Code for making, publishing or circulating statements with intent to cause, or likely to cause, alarm to the public.

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