Malaysiakini NEWS

Tea ceremony for Dr M comes under fire

Tong Yee Siong  |  Published:  |  Modified:

The recent tea-serving ceremony held specially for the Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad in Putrajaya was criticised by two Chinese-based parties today.

MCA National Publicity Bureau urged the leaders of Chinese organisations involved in the ceremony to learn more about their own history and culture when organising similar activities in the future.

"They should know more about their culture and act with more dignity, instead of making themselves a laughing stock in the eyes of the public," said the bureau in its statement.

The bureau noted that the two school children dressed up like Manchurians with pigtails, who served the prime minister tea, was inappropriate.

"Keeping pigtails is not our culture. Chinese men kept pigtails then because they were forced to do so after the Manchurians conquered their country," read the statement.

The public misconception that the pigtail is associated with the Chinese custom was a direct result of continuous distortion by the Western media and this should be rectified, added the bureau.

Last Wednesday, about 2,600 representatives from 120 Chinese organisations nationwide gathered at the National Day special assembly in Putrajaya to commend the premier's leadership for two decades.

However, there were no representatives from several leading Chinese umbrella groups such as the Federation of Chinese Assembly Halls and Associated Chinese Chamber of Commerce and industry.

Loyalty and love

Meanwhile, DAP national chairperson Lim Kit Siang said the tea-serving ceremony was "redolent with psychological feudalism".

He said such a ceremony was most "jarring" for many Malaysians, especially the Chinese, when the country aspires to be an information superpower in a modern era.

He added such an event would not help repair the damage done to the Chinese psyche in the premier's 43rd National Day speech telecast nationwide last year.

Mahathir had termed those who supported the Suqiu before the 1999 general elections as "communists" and "extremists", likening them to the deviant religious group Al-Ma'unah.

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