Malaysia Hindu Sangam president RS Mohan Shan wants Pakatan Harapan chairperson Dr Mahathir Mohamad to issue a public apology for his 'keling' and 'podah' (get lost) remarks.
According to Tamil daily Makkal Osai, Mohan (photo above) said the two words are deemed insulting to the Indian community.
"Mahathir is rude in using the words in regard to the Indian community.
"His justification that he had used the words since he was little cannot be accepted. This raises the question whether Indians will be reduced to 'slaves' if such a leader comes to power again," Mohan is reported to have said in a statement.
Mohan was referring to the former prime minister's remarks against the Election Commission (EC), which he uttered at a fund-raising event in Johor last Saturday.
“I want to use a 'keling' word. The 'keling' say 'podah' (get lost)”, Mahathir was quoted as saying by Malaysiakini.
Various quarters have slammed Mahathir for the remarks and there have been a number of police reports lodged against him on the matter.
However, the former prime minister has been unapologetic, saying the word was common in his home state of Kedah and he had used the word since he was small, without any problems.
Mohan also rued the "silence" on the issue from community leaders who voiced out when a similar word was used in the book "Interlok", some years ago.
"Mahathir should issue a public apology to Malaysian Indians for the remarks," Mohan added.