MELAKA: The needs of Chinese and Indian communities in the state have been well taken care of under the Barisan Nasional/Perikatan Nasional-led state government, says Datuk Seri Sulaiman Md Ali.
The caretaker Chief Minister said he had appointed two secretaries to attend to any problem and the welfare of all the communities including the Portuguese in the state.
"Please check with leaders of minority communities in the state whether I have visited them personally and I have entered the places of worship of non-Muslims as a chief minister," he said when asked to comment on a recent viral audio recording of allegedly a conversation between Sungai Udang assemblyman Datuk Seri Idris Haron and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.
During the conversation, a person who was supposedly Idris said that the previous Barisan Nasional/Perikatan Nasional state government had ignored the needs of the Chinese and Indian communities in the state.
However, Idris has since denied that he is the person behind the voice message.
Sulaiman said that he was unfazed by the allegations that the needs of non-Malays were ignored during the tenure of the previous state government led by him.
He said numerous assistances were rendered to all segments of society and not only focusing on one community.
"It was a challenging period when I took over as chief minister in March, last year when the impact of Covid-19 was at its height.
"We still managed to resolve whatever issues raised by all segments of society," he said.
Sulaiman said any allegation that the needs of non-Malays were not taken care of during his administration should be backed with evidence.
He said checks can also be made on local businessmen requesting for help to be extended during the previous movement control order (MCO) which were all promptly attended to.
"I have done my best to serve all the communities in the state and I am still continuing to do so," he said.
Meanwhile, Melaka Chief Minister's Secretary for Community Affairs, Yong Fun Juan said Sulaiman was one of the few Melaka chief ministers who had visited various Taoist and Buddhist temples including sitting for hours at the Yong Chuan Tian Temple at Bandar Hilir here to get an insight of Wangkang festival in November, last year.
"I believe Sulaiman was the only chief minister who had allowed odd-job labourers from various races to enter directly into his office with slippers and dishevelled clothes, when they came to see him personally to appeal for the repeal compound, notices issued to them during the then MCO.
"Business community can also attest how the chief minister had assisted them during the pandemic," he added.