KUCHING, Aug 16: Progressive Democratic Party (PDP) president Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing has lashed out at the federal government for its intolerance against Chinese organisations that are against the implementation of khat.
He reckoned that these organisations, especially Dong Zong, were merely stating their concerns of the Chinese community.
“Day by day, the intolerance and arrogance of the federal government grow into this boldness to condemn the merits of the organisations and leaders that lead and protect the Chinese community. Specifically, the prime minister (Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad) by calling Dong Zong `racist’ has revealed his own racism and ignorance of the concerns of the community,” Tiong said in a statement today.
Additionally, Tiong, who is also Bintulu MP, also blamed Deputy Education Minister Teo Nie Ching for her failure to be the communicative bridge between Dr Mahathir and the community she had pledged to serve.
“All this because she had let her personal political agenda muddy her actions and responsibilities. Instead, Teo had repeatedly distorted the wishes and opinions of the Chinese community, leading to the mess in which we find ourselves today.
“Her priority is clearly to appease the demands of the authorities and her own political bosses instead of properly relaying the concerns and wishes of the Chinese community, particularly Dong Zong, whose mandate is to protect and preserve the integrity of Chinese education in peaceful co-existence with other ethnic groups in Malaysia,” he said.
According to Tiong, what made matter worse was when she was pressed for a stand on the Prime Minister’s antagonistic tone against Dong Zong, Teo put up an unsubstantial statement calling for more “open communication”.
“This is the understatement of the century and clearly does not reflect any actions on her part to improve the situation. Her inaction and soft stance is a slap on the face for Dong Zong, a stalwart defender of Chinese education. The noble organisation’s legacy of selflessly fighting for equal and fair treatment of Chinese education is well known and acknowledged by many quarters.
“In contrast, Teo, who had pledged many times to defend Chinese education, has abandoned this part of her promises, much less come to Dong Zong’s defence, when it most needs it.
“As a consequence, Dong Zong is now facing the possibility of getting banned. Shouldn’t the Deputy Education Minister stand up and say anything in its defence at this dire time?” he asked.
Tiong also asked that if Teo and her colleagues could not even fulfil their promises to the Chinese community’s wishes on their educational independence, then what hope will the community have for the future.
“By starting an online signature campaign, Dong Zong was merely using this platform to reflect public opinion. At best, it is only a minor social movement but those voices should not be swept aside regardless. If Pakatan Harapan cannot even accommodate such a small dissent from the rakyat, how can we expect them to advance democracy in Malaysia? Instead, they are moving us further away from the goals of other free and egalitarian countries,” he said
Tiong further questioned why Teo, who used to be seen as a chili padi, who dare to speak out before she became a federal minister, was now an entirely different story.
“If such a political leader wishes to gain and maintain the confidence and support of voters, their original promises and intentions should be consistent and unwavering. But not Teo. She has lost the faith and confidence of her original supporters. In the aftermath of the Jawi calligraphy controversy, the entire Chinese community is aggrieved, other ethnic groups are antagonised into those in Sarawak and now, Dong Zong is essentially being persecuted.
“Teo, it is time for you to wake up and stand up for your original stance and not sell out the community you have pledged to serve and protect,” said Tiong. — DayakDaily