Najib Abdul Razak questioned today if Pakatan Harapan leaders who previously accused him of lying about the number of stateless Indians in the country will apologise to him after the Home Ministry's revelation of the actual figures.
In a statement posted on his Facebook page, the former prime minister said: "Thankfully, another slander against the BN government before GE14 has been corrected."
Najib was referring Deputy Home Minister Mohd Azis Jamman telling the Dewan Negara earlier today that the actual number of stateless Indians in the country stood much lower than the 300,000 claimed by Harapan leaders before the general election.
Azis said that as of May this year, the Home Ministry had only received 3,853 applications for identification documents – out of which 1,638 have been resolved, and the remainder being processed.
Najib also said that the 1,638 cases were settled during his administration.
"I have always prioritised being fair to all Malaysians, regardless of race.
"We have never neglected anyone's rights if they truly deserve to be citizens.
"Although MIC leaders and I have stated the real numbers (of stateless Indians) many times, we were often accused of lying by several Indian leaders in Harapan, who insisted the number exceeded 300,000."
This issue of stateless Indians was played up during ceramah sessions and demonstrations before the May 9 polls to fan the ire of the Indian community against BN, he added.
"Now, a lot of Harapan leaders who played up the issue have been appointed ministers in the new government.
"With the Harapan government's own admission about the real numbers, will these leaders apologise for miscalculating two decimal points?" he asked.
Last year, DAP lawmakers M Kulasegaran, Charles Santiago and Penang Deputy Chief Minister II P Ramasamy had spoken out on the issue of stateless Indians.
In October 2017, Najib had clarified that only 2,000 Indians in Malaysia were stateless.