By SM Amin
KUALA LUMPUR, April 28:
Malay rights group Perkasa today said the statement made by United States President Barack Obama regarding equal opportunities for non-Muslims in the country will only strain racial ties in the country.
Its president, Datuk Ibrahim Ali, said the statement was a factual error that can confuse the public.
This was because the reality, according to Ibrahim, is that non-Muslims currently control 60% of the nation’s economy.
“Those who say that Malaysia is denying the rights of non-Muslims are irrational and delusional. This will only strain racial ties.
“If this was true, why is it that the non-Muslims control almost 60% of the country’s economy? Who owns our skyscrapers, our shopping malls and shophouses in the city?
“By coming here and making a one-sided statement will only serve to strain racial ties as it leads to factual errors and misunderstandings,” Ibrahim said in a statement, today.
Yesterday, during a town hall session with young leaders from across Southeast Asia at University Malaya (UM), Obama said the government must ensure that non-Muslims in the country are given the same rights as Muslims, if Malaysia wants to succeed.
“Malaysia will not succeed if non-Muslims are not given the same rights,” he had said, adding that there should be no reason for discrimination and if there were, people should speak up about it.
“When you’re a leader, you have to be on the side of politics that brings the people together and not separate them,” he said.
Ibrahim, in disputing Obama’s remarks, also took to questioning the 44th US President’s stand on the Israel-Palestine conflict.
“I want to ask Obama, how are the Israelis treating the original inhabitants of Palestine?” Ibrahim asked, quoting the famous Malay phrase “bercakap tidak serupa bikin“, which loosely translates to one’s words do not reflect one’s actions.
“Why didn’t Obama advise the non-Muslims to respect the majority Muslim population?
“The social contract is what determines the success of Malaysia. Obama, just like any other American President, is not being transparent,” Ibrahim claimed.