MCA has questioned how a copy of controversial Belt and Road Initiative for Win-Winism comic, which Putrajaya has since banned, was handed to Chinese President Xi Jinping.
MCA president Wee Ka Siong said he wanted Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah and Malaysian Special Envoy to China Tan Kok Wai to explain the matter.
He referred to photographs showing Xi flipping through the book, which was created by former DAP member Hew Kuan Yau, with Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad looking on.
“Malaysians have the right to know how the comic book, which has been banned by the Home Ministry, was handed to Chinese premier Xi Jinping.
“There are pictures showing Xi Jinping looking at the comic in the presence of the Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
“MCA wants to know how Xi was handed the comic and who had authorised it? Surely we have the right to know,” Wee said in a statement on Facebook.
Wee said it would be impossible for Tan, a DAP MP, not to know about the book, especially as the foreword to the book was written by DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng. Lim is also Finance Minister. The book also includes a foreword written by Tan himself.
Tan, who is also the Malaysia-China Business Council (MCBC) chairperson, had in January appointed Hew as MCBC chief executive officer.
Hew, who today quit his MCBC post following the controversy surrounding the publication’s content and its distribution to school libraries, claimed the book was presented to the Chinese leader by Mahathir in April.
The Prime Minister’s Office, however, has denied the premier presented Xi the book, but claimed it was handed to the latter in a manner that “did not observe protocol”.
The book was written by Hew and published by the Penang-based Asia Comic Cultural Museum of which Hew is the curator.
“We also know that while Hew is officially a former DAP member, the fact and reality is that he is still influential in the party.
“[...] this whole episode has made Malaysia and the Pakatan Harapan government a laughing stock,” Wee said.
Yesterday, the Home Ministry announced a blanket ban on all language versions of the book - English, Bahasa Malaysia and Chinese.
Among the reasons cited for the ban were that the comic promoted and spread erroneous facts about the communist ideology.
Prior to that, the Education Ministry had barred the book’s distribution in schools.