BERITA DAILY LETTER: From Krishnan Maniam, via e-mail

“The use of the word “keling” by Mahathir is more of a reflection of his own insecurity and the perpetual psychological need on his part to be “accepted” as Malay rather than “mamak keling”. I really wonder how a man like Mahathir can be taken seriously in Malaysian politics if he has nothing but contempt for non-Malays in the country. How can civil society leaders welcome his new party if his thoughts are alien to a society that we ought to build.” –  Professor P Ramasamy, 2016.

This is not the first time Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad uttered the word “keling” to label the Indian community. He has done it in the past too. Hindraf and DAP’s P Ramasamy chastised Mahathir in 2016 for using the disparaging word. It is mind-boggling that the man who was a prime minister for 22 years does not understand religious sensitivity in Malaysia.

Such an insensitive and misinformed person should not even be a member or parliament, let alone prime minister. Why apologise only this time? Because the elections are on the head? What about all the other wrongdoings to the community?

In his personal blog, Lim Kit Siang once labeled Mahathir as the “number one racist in Malaysia”. Prior to the last general election, Lim said that Mahathir is “the greatest enemy of multi-racial Malaysia.”

Back in 2013, Mahathir said that the federal constitution should be amended to revoke the citizenship of Bar Council leaders and then Bersih co-chairperson S Ambiga because he said that they were against the government.

Prime Minister Najib Razak’s leniency towards those who criticise his governance is angelic compared to how Mahathir handled his detractors.

When the late Karpal Singh, S Samy Vellu and lawyer Param Cumaraswamy fought to free Hindraf leaders that were arrested under the Internal Security Act, Mahathir said they were only doing so due to sentiments of racism.

“They must know that Hindraf represents Tamil racists who still look to their old masters, the British, to protect them. They don’t believe in Malaysian institutions,” Mahathir blogged.

Where are the so called representatives of the Indian community in Pakatan Harapan? Have the little Indian stooges of Pakatan Harapan gone into hiding because they dare not open their mouth against Mahathir?

The silence of M Kulasegaran, Hindraf’s P Waythamoorthy, Mira’s A Rajaretinem, Xavier Jayakumar, R Sivarasa, and Ganapathi Rao is demeaning. Ramasamy’s response seem to be half-hearted and tainted with fear. Ramasamy advised Mahathir to refrain from using cliches and said, “I know the word was not directed at Indians, but don’t go and say all these things.”

I have never seen a man being in so much denial. Mahathir said, “Here’s the keling word for you… podah”. Doesn’t Ramasamy know which community does the podah word belong too? Who is Ramasamy trying to fool?

At least MIC took Zulkifli Nordin to task prior to the last general election when Zulkifli used the ‘keling’ word despite both belonging to the same coalition. It is clear now whether the community can rely on MIC for defending them or the Pakatan Harapan Indian stooges.

When MIC or BN does something remotely wrong, the Indians in Pakatan Harapan come roaring like gladiators. However, when their master Mahathir does something blatant, they reveal their true colours of being little peasants.

The Indians don’t need individuals for lip service, we need people who would stand tall defending our rights. At least Barisan Nasional has shown us their seriousness in uplifting the community over the past few years. It is better late than never. On May 9, the community will show the Indians in Pakatan Harapan the real meaning of the word ‘podah’.