SERDANG, Nov 6 — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak today assured the Indian community that they are not seen as “pendatang” (immigrants) but are recognised as important to the country.
He said this in response to MIC president Datuk Seri Dr S Subramaniam’s suggestion earlier to outlaw the term, which is often used to describe the country’s non-Malay communities.
“Malaysian Indians are not ‘pendatang’. We recognise they are important to the country,” Najib said in his speech at MIC’s party polls here.
He said Barisan Nasional (BN) has policies to help the Indian community, unlike other parties that merely focus on playing politics.
“I listen, I am a good listener. Others do not have specific programme to help Indians. But we have our own agenda to help the community and this cannot be disputed,” Najib added.
Earlier in his speech, Subramaniam told the BN leaders to stop using the ‘pendatang’ term on Chinese and Indians and urged stern action against anyone who tried to incite racial sentiment in the country.
The MIC president’s call today comes following the string of racial statements made during the September 16 “Red Shirts” rally in the city.
At the pro-Malay rally attended by Umno leaders such as former Malacca Chief Minister Tan Sri Mohd Ali Rustam, placards demanding the abolition of Chinese vernacular schools were displayed.
One demonstrator was also recorded calling an ethnic Chinese journalist “Cina babi” (Chinese pig), among others.