Nationalism the last refuge of Madani gov’t as evident from Saifuddin’s ‘must speak Malay’ fiasco

HOME Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail cannot camouflage his recent uncalled defence of an immigration officer for scolding a woman who could not speak Malay in her effort to renew her passport.

I understand that she lost her fluency because of her long absence from the country. Saifuddin is trying to beat about the bush by now saying that Malaysians must be fluent in their oral Malay when dealing with government officials.

But he must first admit that he was wrong in defending the immigration officer for scolding the woman for not being able to speak Malay. Why the necessity on the part of the officer to scold the woman when there was no Malay proficiency requirement for passport renewal?

In fact, what Saifuddin should be doing is to apologise to the woman who was scolded by the rude officer. Instead, Saifuddin is trying to change the subject by advising Malaysians to speak in Malay to government officers.

Is there a need for Saifuddin to give this kind of nonsensical advice? Is it widespread that languages other than Malay is used in government departments?

There is no reason why Malaysians would not be inclined to speak in Malay. There is no issue at. What if government officials want to speak in languages other than Malay? What if they want to speak in English?

Prof Ramasamy Palanisamy

Is there any law in the country that only Malay can be used in government departments? If not, what is the punishment to those who speak in English? Is it a crime for Malaysian of Tamil origins to speak Tamil to an immigration officer of the same origins?

I don’t understand why Saifuddin is raising petty issues when he should be thinking of apologising to the woman who was scolded by the immigration officer. Saifuddin came to the uncalled defence of this officer. Was this necessary in the first place?

Why is he and his boss Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim bending over backwards to appease the Malay nationalists? Does Saifuddin think that this act of appeasement or sycophancy will endear himself to the Malays or get the Malays to return to the fold of PH? Sweet dreams!

It doesn’t take rocket science to realise that the Pakatan Harapan-Barisan Nasional (PH-BN) coalition has lost Malay support. For the coalition’s ministers like Saifuddin, nationalism seems to be last refuge.

Saifuddin’s senate route to become a minister is something to think about! – Dec 8, 2023


Former DAP stalwart and Penang chief minister II Prof Ramasamy Palanisamy is chairman of the Urimai (United Rights of Malaysian Party) Interim Council.

The views expressed are solely of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Focus Malaysia.


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