Acting Umno president Mohamad Hasan shot back at his detractors today, asking them to examine his track record in the state he used to helm before branding him a racist.
Mohamad told The Star that he helped many non-Malays when serving as the menteri besar of Negeri Sembilan, including gazetting land for the construction of churches and temples.
"Come to Negeri Sembilan, and see how I have, during my time as menteri besar, helped gazette Hindu and Chinese temples, and churches.
“Go to places like Kampung Saga and Kampung Pasir in Rantau and see how I have helped the residents resolve their decades-old problem to obtain plots to build homes," he said, adding that he also extended financial aid to vernacular schools and NGOs.
Noting that he had learned how to do business from his Chinese friends, Mohamad also said that he could not possibly be a racist as he grew up in a Chinese new village in Rantau.
The three-term Rantau assemblyperson is expected to defend the state seat in the April 13 by-election, after his win in last year's polls was declared void by the Election Commission.
According to The Star, Mohamad was compelled to defend himself with partial clips of his past speeches – which purportedly touch on vernacular schools – now making the rounds.
"When I merely said there are Chinese and Tamil schools in Malaysia, my detractors spun my statement to make me look as if I am against these schools.
"What I meant was, we still have these schools when some of our neighbouring countries like Thailand do not," he said.
He told The Star that the others are the real racists – including a Pakatan Harapan leader, whom he did not name, who allegedly referred to Malays as 'pendatang' before withdrawing the statement.