Amanah Youth leader Faiz Fadzil has come to his party president Mohamad Sabu’s defence after the defence minister was criticised for a recent speech given at an international conference.
Mohamad had addressed the 18th IISS Asia Security Summit Shangri-la Dialogue in Singapore on June 1.
Sharing an edited video of the speech, MCA president Wee Ka Siong later said Mohamad had embarrassed the country with his poor command of English.
Today, Faiz slammed Wee for his criticism and urged him to stop trying to distract people from BN’s billion-ringgit scandals involving public institutions such as 1MDB, Felda and Tabung Haji.
“He is trying to shift the rakyat’s attention away from corruption scandals involving BN kleptocrats like former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak, his wife Rosmah Mansor, Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and many more who are facing court action now,” he said in a statement.
As for Mohamad’s speech, Faiz (photo, below) believed that his linguistic mistakes did not detract from his overall message.
“Even though English is an important and international medium of communication, it is not a measure of competency or intelligence of a leader. Many world leaders converse using their mother tongue at international dialogues or conferences.
“Mohamad’s courage to speak in English at such an important international security conference should be seen in a positive light - that Malaysia is serious about combating terrorism,” the Amanah Youth deputy president added.
Yesterday, Wee listed down Mohamad’s gaffes during the minister’s speech, titled “Asia’s Evolving Security Order and its Challenges”.
Among the gaffes were Mat Sabu’s reference to New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern as “him”, suggesting that identifying the parents of terrorists could be an effective counter-terrorism measure, and claiming that China’s coast guard vessels were larger than Malaysia’s warships.
“If you want to speak on a world stage, please do your homework as well as prepare and practise your speech. If you are too busy to do that, just read from the speech text prepared for you by government agencies.
“Don’t speak spontaneously because the viewers won’t be able to understand you, especially when your grammar is all over the place,” Wee had said.