MIC leaders have not taken kindly to Kedah Menteri Besar Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor using words associated with racial stereotypes to hit back at his Indian critics over a Hindu temple demolition row.
Sanusi had suggested his critics, which included MIC and DAP leaders, were "drunk on the toddy of popularity" and advised them not to act as if they are "drunk on three bottles" after consuming only one bottle.
Calling Sanusi "insensitive", MIC president S Vigneswaran said he did not want to descend to the PAS leader's level.
"I am capable of insulting like him, but I don't want to be narrow-minded and go as low as him.
"Does he think that everyone is drunk? If one person involved in a sex case, does it mean everyone is involved?
Expressing his disappointment with Sanusi, Vigneswaran (photo) said the Kedah menteri besar had spoiled all his hard work to get the Indian community to vote for PAS.
He asked if Sanusi, too, was drunk on ketum when he wrongly mentioned that the rare earth element (REE) in Kedah is worth RM43 trillion.
"Was he drunk on ketum when he mentioned RM43 trillion? I was not drunk today when I spoke about the demolished temple," he said.
For the record, after Sanusi's press conference on the REE, the MB's office had corrected the mistake and said that the correct figure was RM62 billion.
MIC and PAS are part of the Perikatan Nasional coalition. However, the demolition of the Sri Raja Muniswarar Temple in Kuala Kedah on Tuesday had hurt their relationship.
MIC deputy president S Saravanan said Sanusi was uncivilised when he used the toddy analogy in his statement.
"His comment reflects the level of his maturity in politics. A pious PAS leader but acts like an uncivilised person.
"What he said showed that he has a low mentality.
"I am not surprised. What can we expect from someone who suddenly climbed to power?" he told Malaysiakini.
Sanusi, who is the Jeneri assemblyperson, was appointed as Kedah menteri besar in May this year after his predecessor Mukhriz Mahathir lost the confidence of the majority of the state assembly.
Saravanan also took a jab at PAS for being "drunk on politics".
"Drunk on toddy is better than drunk on politics. In politics, PAS had 'slept' with all parties. There is only one party it has yet to sleep with, which is a communist party," he said.
Saravanan's statement came after he accused Sanusi of breaking the promise to inform about any incoming demolition of non-Muslim places of worship to him.
Meanwhile, DAP leader P Ramasamy said Sanusi's use of toddy analogy against MIC and DAP leaders is not something expected from a menteri besar.
"The very fact that he could sink to this level tells much about the calibre, quality and competency of Sanusi's leadership.
He said while political and ideological differences are expected from leaders, comments about opposition leaders getting drunk and inciting ethnic or religious tensions are not.
"My question to Sanusi - are you high on the popularity of ganja or heroin or cocaine?
"Is this the reason why Sanusi is so extremist in his thinking and action?" he said.
Ramasamy advised Sanusi not to play with fire by demolishing places of worship in the name of illegality.
Sanusi had reiterated that the demolition of the temple in Kuala Kedah was because it stood on a gazetted land and that a wider and more comfortable location had been given to replace the demolished temple.
The land reclaimed would be used for constructing expansions of Alor Setar's railway lines, Sanusi said.