Nasir Safar a reflection?

February 2nd, 2010 by poobalan | View blog reactions Leave a reply »
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Update 8.30pm:

The Star carried this news few minutes ago:

Datuk Nasir Safar, special officer to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, will resign over allegedly racist statements he made, the Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement Tuesday.

“The remarks allegedly made by Nasir in Malacca today do not in any way reflect the views of the Prime Minister,” the statement said.

“Nasir never intended to make any derogatory remarks. He spoke at length on the contributions made by all races in developing the country.

“Nevertheless, Nasir apologises for any offence caused … and in light of this, will tender his resignation.”

Online portals earlier reported that Nasir’s remarks at a 1Malaysia seminar at the Malacca International Trade Centre were so offensive that MIC and MCA members in attendance walked out in protest.

He was reported to have said that Chinese and Indian Malaysians were mere “pendatangs” (immigrants) and that Chinese women came to Malaysia to indulge in the “flesh trade.”

Nasir first denied the reports, saying he was just talking about the country’s history.

“I did not say the word ‘pendatang.’ I only said the country has been successful as the Chinese and the Indians from those days until today have been coming here to work,” he told The Malaysian Insider.

He also dismissed claims that he had threatened to revoke the citizenships of non-Malays who demanded that their rights be respected, the portal reported. (hmmm..trying to evade or implying the participants don’t understand Bahasa Malaysia?)

MIC and MCA leaders had threatened to lodge police reports over the incident.

Latest news via Novinthen’s FB is that the guy has tendered his resignation. However, I hope to see the police, AG office, and judiciary play their roles correctly. Hopefully this guy ends up in prison for a duration suitable for his actions.

This is a virtually stinging slap on PM Najib’s face. His own aide saying like this is like a reflection of the whole cohort. Goes to show nothing much have changed, and there’s plenty more people like him.

Since this was a government department project (the mysterious JASA) and attended by BN coalition members, can’t say its miscommunication or misunderstanding or false news.

BTW, there’s a Facebook group to protest against Nasir.

Hmm..shall we award him Public Enemy No 1 for the month of February?

The stinging remarks made by a special officer to Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak during a seminar titled ‘Rapat 1Malaysia’ in Malacca this morning prompted scores of MIC and MCA members as well as representatives from non-governmental organisations to stage a walkout.

NONEAccording to a source who attended the meeting, Nasir Safar had ruffled feathers when he labelled the Indians and Chinese in this country as ‘pendatang’ or immigrants.

“He was saying that the Indians and Chinese came here as immigrants and are now enjoying life in this country.

“He also remarked that the Chinese, especially the women, come here to ‘jual tubuh’ (flesh trade),” added the source who requested anonymity.

He claimed that Nasir also credited Umno for being solely responsible in drafting the constitution, “sidelining the contribution of the other parties in the Alliance back then.”

‘Revoke their citizenship’

Apart from this, the source said the officer also threatened to ‘revoke’ the citizenship of those who were vocal about the subject cap for the SPM examination.

“He was telling us of how he visited several MIC branches to explain the government’s stand on this issue and expressed regret that the branches remained steadfast in their call for the cap to be scrapped. He accused them of making an ‘extreme’ demand.”

NONE“He said, ‘How can they talk so much about the Tamil language when Bahasa Melayu is the official language. If they continue to make such demands, we could revoke their citizenship’.”

“Who is he to revoke their citizenship?” asked the irate source.

Following this, he said “some 60 to 70” MIC and MCA members as well as the NGO reps present decided to leave the room.

“The organisers tried to coax us to stay but we were too upset,” he said, adding that the seminar was organised by Jasa, the Information Ministry’s special affairs division.

Meanwhile, the source said MIC Youth is expected to file a police report on the incident.

Furthermore, a memorandum would also be submitted to Najib when he visits Malacca on Feb 4.

Samy: Punish him under Sedition Act

In an immediate reaction, MIC president S Samy Vellu, who was briefed on the issue by the party leaders who attended the seminar, expressed outrage and demanded that Nasir be punished under the Sedition Act.

Describing the remarks as being “racist of the highest order”, he urged the premier to take the appropriate action against his aide.

Confirming that a police report would be lodged, he said: “MIC condemns the colonial attitude of this person for degrading the Indian Malaysians.”

“His views are entirely the opposite of the goodwill shown by the government and the prime minister under the ‘1Malaysia’ concept,” he added.

Samy Vellu said Nasir must realise that the present generation of Indian Malaysians in this country were born in Malaysia and are also the sons of the soil.

“As such, who is he to suggest that their citizenship should be revoked merely because they have been fighting for their rights.

“In my 29 years of service as a cabinet minister, I have not come across such a person who felt fit to question the loyalty of Indian Malaysians. Shame on you!” he said, expressing confidence that the prime minister would do the right thing.

‘Feelings of all M’sians have been hurt’

MIC deputy president G Palanivel was saddened that such “uncalled for” remarks were made following Najib’s historic visit to Batu Caves during Thaipusam.

“All the Indians who listened to the prime minister (during Thaipusam) would have noted the goodness coming from his heart.

“Soon after the whole tempo has been disturbed. The feelings of all Malaysians have been hurt.

“Such remarks would definitely put back efforts to build national unity,” he told Malaysiakini.

MIC information chief P Kamalanathan lambasted Nasir as an “enemy within.”

“While the prime minister is going through the country and all over the world propagating ‘1Malaysia’ and talking about the importance of Indians and Chinese, we have an officer who works in his department and says racist remarks.

“The person should not be sitting anywhere near the building (the Prime Minister’s Department).

“To ensure that ‘1Malaysia’ is successful, we have to eradicate characters like these from the system,” he added.

‘What’s the point of visiting Batu Caves?’

Also expressing regret over the “insensitive” remarks was MIC Youth advisor S Vell Paari.

“Whatever hard work done by the prime minister in fostering closer ties among the people has been destroyed by this act,” he toldMalaysiakini.

“What is the point in Najib visiting Batu Caves for Thaipusam and visiting Tamil Nadu to talk about the close ties with the Tamils here when his own officer failed to understand the concept of ‘1Malaysia’,” he asked.

He added that the police should investigate the officer for sedition and hoped the government would act soon to alleviate any fresh fears among the Indians and the Chinese.

In a related development, Malaysia Indian Youth Council (MIYC) president A Rajaretinam demanded that Nasir be suspended.

He warned that if no action is taken by next Monday, MIYC, which had five representatives present at the seminar, would mount a massive protest.

Nasir could not be reached for comment.

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