KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 26 — Datuk Seri S. Vell Paari today launched a scathing attack on Kedah Mentri Besar Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor, who claimed MIC was in cahoots with Pakatan Harapan (PH) for the last general election.
The MIC senator accused the PAS leader of not only being ignorant of local politics but also going against his Islamist party’s principles and the teachings of its former spiritual adviser the late Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat who advocated interracial and interreligious tolerance.
“Has the mentri besar spent the last two years in Malaysia or on planet Mars? It may be that Muhammad Sanusi was too busy looking for Rare Earth Elements (REE) worth RM43 trillion on planet Mars to the point he doesn’t know the political landscape during this time,” Vell Paari said in a statement.
This was in reference to Muhammad Sanusi’s claim that Kedah would be tapping into the rare earth deposits available within the state.
Vell Paari, the son of former MIC heavyweight Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu, told Muhammad Sanusi that it was PAS that competed against all other parties in Election 2018, including the parties it is now allied with under the current Perikatan Nasional (PN) government.
“I would like to stress that MIC does not have a problem with PAS as a party, but it does have an issue with the arrogant, pompous, and uncivilised attitude of the Kedah MB in several matters involving the Indian community in his state,” he added.
Vell Paari conceded that disagreements were the norm even among political allies, but said they can be resolved through dialogue.
However, he claimed that issues involving minority groups in Kedah, especially the Indians, have been met with bullying and insults from the PAS leader and cited the latter’s recent decision to cancel Thaipusam as a holiday in the state as an example.
“It clearly proves that it is in the DNA of the Kedah Mentri Besar Muhammad Sanusi for him to harbour problems with the minority races, especially the Indians.
“Because you wanted to seek revenge on the Indians, you cancelled the Thaipusam public holiday, thinking nothing would be done by the 6 per cent of Indians in Kedah.
“However, it is not these 6 per cent that you should be worried about, but rather the remaining 94 per cent of Kedah’s people whose public holiday you have just cancelled,” Vell Paari said.
The Kedah MB had reportedly said there was no need to gazette Thaipusam — which falls on January 28 this year — as a holiday with the movement control order in effect, since social gatherings were barred anyway.
His remarks drew widespread outcry from both sides of the political divide and he was criticised as insensitive, disrespectful, and biased against Hindus.
Vell Paari also compared Muhammad Sanusi’s attitude to that displayed by PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang when the latter visited MIC president Datuk Seri SA. Vigneswaran in March 2019, before both parties teamed up in the PN government.
Vell Paari said Hadi’s visit was one filled with mutual respect for each other, in line with PAS’ efforts to portray itself as an inclusive entity, but lamented how Muhammad Sanusi’s actions and bullying only undid the good work of others.
“All the efforts being undertaken by the PAS president, to portray PAS as a party that respects the rights of minority races, has been destroyed by Muhammad Sanusi’s actions.
“Muhammad Sanusi has managed to plant the seed of fear in the minds of all the minority races in the country, while raising the question of what will happen to the future of minorities if PAS yields full power at the federal level,” Vell Paari added.
* Editor's note: A previous version of this story contained an error which has since been corrected.
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