KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 21 ― Malay-Muslim groups today demanded Senator P. Waytha Moorthy step down as a minister.
The groups parked under the umbrella movement calling itself Ummah claimed that Waytha’s remarks ― made a decade ago ― was unbecoming of a minister in the Prime Minister’s Department in charge of unity and social wellbeing, and that his words had stirred up “racial sentiments.”
“We want Waytha Moorthy to step down as unity minister, or the prime minister should appoint someone else to take over.
“His remarks have stirred racial sentiments, he is not a right fit for the portfolio,” Ummah chairman Aminuddin Yahaya told a news conference, which was broadcast live on Ummah's Facebook page.
Aminuddin pointed out that there is already an online petition calling for Waytha's resignation, and that it has more than 158,000 signatures.
Waytha’s interview with a Dutch broadcaster 10 years ago which resurfaced on social media recently took place when the minister was leading rights group Hindu Rights Action Force, which galvanised nationwide Indian support for the then Opposition Pakatan Rakyat during the 2008 general election.
In the interview, Waytha had claimed that Putrajaya had allegedly coerced Hindus to convert to Islam so they could join the civil service, the purported forced destruction of 10,000 temples, and when ethnic Indians were sidelined when it came to education opportunities.
“Some of the these things are not true, like the destruction of temples, that did not take place,” Aminuddin said.
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