The Star Online 3 July 2013


Grow up and stop asking people to leave the country, that is the viewpoint of Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs’ (Ideas) chief executive Wan Saiful Wan Jan.

To him, it is unacceptable to ask another Malaysian to migrate just because of difference in opinions.

“In reality, every single one of us belongs to the country, and the country belongs to us. If A can tell B to move out, B can tell A to do the same,” he said.

Wan Saiful advocated the need for maturity, especially from “politicians who continuously leak these kind of suggestions”.

“They need to realise that time has moved on. These attitudes are too childish for the era we are in now,” he said.

MCA vice-president Gan Ping Sieu believed those who made such statements were in need of a basic education on democratic principles as there had to be room for disagreement.

“Such remarks are uncalled for, no matter who utters them.

“Reasonable opinions may differ and we should cherish the deliberation of differing views and ideas with the objective of betterment. Don’t be a sore loser,” he said in a phone interview.

Wan Saiful and Gan were commenting on a speech in Parliament by Kinabatangan MP Datuk Bung Mokhtar Radin who took to task Air Asia X chief executive officer Azran Osman Rani for calling Utusan Malaysia a racist newspaper.

On June 30, Utusan in its Awang Selamat column told DAP publicity chief and Petaling Jaya Utara MP Tony Pua to migrate to Taiwan or Hong Kong if he did not approve of Ramadan bazaars in Malaysia.

MIC vice-president Datuk S.K. Devamany felt that statements from one or two did not reflect the spirit of the country’s leadership or people, as Malaysia was “an example of the spirit of unity.”

“Perhaps those statements were a manifestation of frustrations after putting in much work,” said the Perak state assembly Speaker.

He warned that leaders should be thoughtful of the rakyat’s feelings as such statements cut deep into people’s hearts.

Devamany said the grassroots were changing due to a democratisation of the mind with social media.

“People are going for a just government and transparency. We must reform the fundamentals of the nation rather than throw words that can hurt people and be detrimental to nation-building,” he added.

Umno supreme council member Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah termed this sort of talk “out of date” as Malaysia had celebrated 56 years of independence.

“Malaysians from all walks of life and ethnic backgrounds consider Malaysia their home. I strongly believe that they also love their country,” he said.

Though people may have differing views on matters, Saifuddin was firmly against asking people to leave the country.

“If they make statements or hold on to certain views that may contradict with official or mainstream points, they do it out of love for the country,” he said.

Saifuddin suggests that everyone make an effort to find out about the differing views of others.

“If you strongly feel that your stand is right, then persuade them to agree with you. Don’t ask them to leave!

“We must be able to live in the 21st century, appreciate differences and accommodate people with different beliefs,” he added.

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