- Published on Thursday, 03 July 2014 18:16
KUALA LUMPUR: Gerakan has lashed out at Penang Hindu Endowment Board chairman P. Ramasamy for criticising its president’s portfolio in the government and questioned whether he was a “racist”.
Datuk Mah Siew Keong was last week appointed as a Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department.
The Teluk Intan Member of Parliament will oversee the Innovation Unit (Unik) as well as the Hindu Endowment Board.
The board administers endowments such as land, property, burial grounds or funds given for the benefit of the Hindu community.
Ramasamy, however, reportedly called Mah’s new role an an “insult to Hindus” and questioned why an Indian leader was not chosen to look after the portfolio.
According to a Malaysiakini report, Ramasamy drew attention to Persatuan Hindraf Malaysia (PWM) chairperson P. Waythamoorthy, who was appointed by the Prime Minister to oversee Hindu affairs, but resigned from his post eight months later.
Ramasamy then questioned what hope was there for Mah to perform when Waythamoorthy, who was familiar with the Indian community, had to vacate his post.
Gerakan deputy youth chief Andy Yong said such comments were uncalled for and unnecessary for Ramasamy, who is also DAP’s Penang Deputy Chief Minister II, to criticise the Prime Minister for the appointment.
He also hit out at the party’s repeated statements of being a multi-racial party, indicating that the leader was making race-based remarks.
“What is wrong for Mah to oversee the Hindu Endowment Board? How is it an insult to the Hindus?
“What he says is akin to only a judge of the same race can sit in the court when the litigants are of a particular race,” Yong added.
He said the government was responsible for looking after the interests of all races, be it for the economic, welfare or political wellbeing of the nation.
He added the country had achieved success so far through the history and culture of the various races.
“Unfortunately it is always politics and human factors which contribute to ethnic divisions in this country and this is a prime example.”