KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 28 — Minister of Economy Rafizi Ramli today said that a police report will be lodged against PAS over its allegation that 54,000 Chinese nationals were given citizenship.
Rafizi, who is also the PKR deputy president, said the posting is clearly criminal defamation and a lie.
“I will talk to Home Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail in order to lodge the report over the defamatory posting.
“PAS must be held accountable if the party continues to lie like this,” he wrote in a Facebook posting.
Earlier, PAS in a Facebook posting quoted Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) information chief Datuk Razali Idris as urging the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to investigate the home minister, the Home Ministry and the National Registration Department (NRD) over the alleged claim that 54,000 Chinese citizens are in the process of being granted Malaysian citizenship.
Razali said that the authorities should still investigate the matter even though the allegations were denied by both the home minister and Communications and Digital Minister Fahmi Fadzil.
“It is not a matter of slander or accusation, but the Malaysians deserve to know the truth.
“We don’t want the sovereignty of our country to be breached, especially by an internal party. The home minister must be held accountable,” he said.
On August 18, NRD had clarified that the 54,000 citizenship applications mentioned by the home minister, during a press conference on January 9, referred to applicants from various backgrounds and countries, not only China.
NRD said a portion of the statement by Saifuddin Nasution was manipulated to misrepresent what he had actually said on that day.
NRD said the 54,000 applications mentioned by Saifuddin Nasution referred to the total applications received between 2017 and 2022 and it included applications from diverse backgrounds and countries of origin.
At the time, Saifuddin had said that there are 54,000 applicants out of which 7,000 have been approved while 36,000 are currently being processed.
NRD stressed that citizenship applications have always been subjected to provisions of the Federal Constitution and other relevant laws.