Malaysian PM’s ex-aide being probed for sedition

February 4th, 2010 - 1:28 pm ICT by IANS  

Kuala Lumpur, Feb 4 (IANS) An investigation was launched Thursday against Nasir Safar, who resigned as a special officer to Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak, for sedition after he spoke against the country’s Chinese and Indian ethnic minorities.
Safar quit after protests over his remarks made at a seminar in Malacca earlier this week.

He caused a furore at the seminar on the 1Malaysia concept when he made derogatory remarks about Chinese and Indian immigrants coming to Malaysia.

The statements were supposedly made when he touched on issues relating to minority Chinese and Indians who said the policy discriminates against them.

Confirming that Safar was being investigated for sedition, Home Minister Hishammuddin Tun Hussein said police would investigate all reports that were made regardless of how closely related the person was to the country’s leaders.

“The statement might have been the result of a slip of the tongue but the effects of the remark can be really bad,” he said.

Hishammuddin said Nasir had known Najib for more than 30 years but he would still be investigated.

The Star newspaper said a dozen police complaints have been filed against Safar, a former legislator.

Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA) and the Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC) condemned Safar’s remarks.

The prime minister’s office issued a statement distancing itself from the remarks and asked Safar to quit.

Meanwhile, former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad termed Safar’s remarks as “bad” and said the citizenship of non-Malays in the country should never be questioned.

A provision in the Federal Constitution clearly stated that the Malays were the indigenous people of the country while the non-Malays had rights to citizenship, he said.

“That should not be questioned. The constitution provides that you cannot take away citizenships,” he told reporters.

Multi-ethnic Malaysia is home to majority Malay Muslims and to Chinese and Indians.

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