Malacca DAP has called on Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad to retract his labelling of Dong Zong as "racist", saying the attack had turned the khat issue from an educational one to a racial one.
This is in reference to Mahathir's criticism of the Chinese educationists' group after it branded the government's plan to introduce three pages of khat lessons to the Standard 4 Bahasa Malaysia textbook as a form of "Islamisation".
"Mahathir's remark that Dong Zong is a racist group over the khat issue has tainted an education topic with racial overtones and created a racial rivalry.
"This has created disappointment in the public and we do not agree with such a statement," it said in a statement today.
The statement was signed by one Malacca DAP MP and four assemblypersons, namely Khoo Poay Tiong (Kota Melaka) [above], Wong Fort Pin (Bemban), Low Chee Leong (Kota Laksamana), Seah Shoo Chin (Kesidang) and Kerk Chee Yee (Ayer Keroh).
Three Malacca DAP assemblypersons were not signatories to the statement. They were namely Tey Kok Kiew (Bandar Hilir), G Saminathan (Gadek) and Norhizam Hassan Baktee (Pengkalan Batu) and Damian Yeo Shen Li (Duyong).
The five elected representatives who signed said they hoped that in a "new Malaysia", disagreements could be discussed rationally.
They said Dong Zong's role was to defend Chinese education, and its position had nothing to do with racism.