Toxic rhetoric has harmed Malays, says Syed Saddiq

PUTRAJAYA, 23 April -- Menteri Belia dan Sukan Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman ketika menjawab pertanyaan pada sidang media Menteri Belia dan Sukan di Menara KBS hari ini.

KUALA LUMPUR, 20 May — Divisive and nativist narratives, including one revolving around the fear of Malays losing political power, have harmed the community, a former youth and sports minister said.

Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman said such toxic narratives espoused by some politicians “kill the Malays”.

“They regress them for decades, and imprison them forever,” he said at a forum last night.

Also present was former Dewan Rakyat speaker Ariff Yusof, DAP’s Segambut MP Hannah Yeoh and lawyer-activist Ambiga Sreenevasan.

Syed Saddiq said he had heard such fears being repeated in his constituency, Muar, when he took pictures with Yeoh, with some claiming that Yeoh was trying to “Christianise” him, which “she has never done”.

He also criticised MPs who endlessly called for Bumiputera entrepreneurs to be assisted by the government while abusing their political positions to acquire “millions of ringgit worth of government contracts for their kin and family members”.

Ariff called for the “opening of the middle ground” – through forums and debates on national issues – to counter such toxic narratives,

He also called upon Malaysians to come out and vote, despite some feeling that it was a futile exercise because of constant party-hopping.

He said voters should choose the right people to serve their constituencies and throw their support behind political movements that wanted to change national politics for the better.

“We can’t change the mentality of all MPs, but we can support good MPs and political movements like Gerak Independent and Muda.

“Make sure you’ve got the right people to be in Parliament.”