Thursday, April 01, 2010

Muhyiddin: People can judge if I'm racist

Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said he will let the people judge if he had been a racist for saying that he was a Malay first and only then a Malaysian. He said the people are the best judge to evaluate him given his long service in  politics and in government.

“I have been a political leader and a government administrator for nearly 40 years. The people know me . . . and what type of person I am.

“I leave it to them to judge if I am a person with a racist attitude,” Muhyiddin told a press conference in Penang today.

The Umno deputy president said this when asked if his ‘Malay first’ principle contradicted Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s ‘1Malaysia’ concept.

“The question of whether I'm loyal or not to the 1Malaysia concept does not arise. People shall not question my sincerity, honesty and commitment (to the concept),” he said.

Yesterday, Muhyiddin said he was a ‘Malay first’ in response to a challenge thrown by DAP veteran Lim Kit Siang, who wanted him to state which came first for him.

He said it was inappropriate for someone like Lim, a senior parliamentarian, to ask if he was a Malaysian or a Malay first.

1Malaysia’ now well received
Muhyiddin also called on the people, especially critics, not to prolong the issue, and instead to bury it once for all. "They should spend their resources on more important matters,” he said.

Earlier, Muhyiddin praised Najib’s premiership over the past 12 months as “progressive and effective.’

He said Najib’s concept of ‘1Malaysia’ was now well received by Malaysians and said it was a timely agenda to strengthen racial relations.

He said the New Economic Model (NEM), launched by Najib, also the finance minister on Tuesday was a bold step to stimulate Malaysia to economic growth and excellence.

He said Najib’s administration would engage all Malaysians, whether Bumiputeras or not, to ensure the success of NEM.

The DPM also praised Najib’s initiatives to improve the public sector delivery system, besides opening up previously ‘closed-up’ economic sectors to foreign investments.

He said the international community had also began to recognise the quality and capability of the new leadership helmed by Najib, who celebrates one-year in office this month.

Najib took over from the country’s premiership from Abdullah Ahmad Badawi in April last year.

Muhyiddin said efforts and initiatives undertaken by the current government to spur nation-building arev already yielding positive results.

“Soon the people would be able to judge and give due credit to the government. I'm proud to say I am part of the team," said the DPM.

by FMT

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