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KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 3, 2015:

Datuk Seri Tajuddin Abdul Rahman, who came under the spotlight recently for saying the Chinese should be slapped for airing their grouses to China, was only brave enough to say so as he was in the government.

“He wants to lempang (slap)? Ask him to lempanglah!Talking is easy.

“He’s with the government so he has the guts to say so, but outside the government, he wouldn’t have the guts,” said former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad at a press conference at De Palma hotel here today.

The nation’s longest-serving premier was earlier speaking at a high tea organised by Pusat Bandar Taman Cempaka Umno branch in which he was the main speaker.

A couple of days ago, the Deputy Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister was reported to have warned he would “slap” the Chinese in Malaysia if they took their complaints outside of the country.

The Pasir Salak lawmaker however later told The Rakyat Postthe “lempang” bit of his speech was said in jest and was not part of his official press statement.

Even in jest, Tajuddin said, the joke was not referring to all Malaysian Chinese but to only those “yang manja-manja dan suka mengada-ngada” (those who are too touchy).

Tajuddin had made the remark in relation to China’s ambassador to Malaysia Dr Huang Huikang’s visit to Petaling Street last week which Tajuddin said was to protect tourists from China, following a threat of a riot at the iconic spot by a group. The riot later did not take place.

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