Image above: Umno’s Datuk Tajuddin on 'slap' remark
Umno’s Datuk Tajuddin Abdul Rahman sought to play off his “slap” remark aimed at ethnic Chinese as just a joke, after an audio recording was uploaded onto the Internet, Sin Chew Daily reported this evening.
The deputy agriculture and agro-based industry minister insisted he had not done anything wrong as the comment was made after his news conference yesterday; and even challenged news portal Malaysiakini — which had uploaded the audio clip — to produce a video recording of him saying it instead.
“Do they have the video? Was I still sitting or standing at that time? Or I was about to leave after saying that?
“It was only a joke and not part of the press conference,” he was quoted as saying by the Chinese-language daily in a report posted on its website in English.
Tajuddin, who received immediate criticism, had initially accused Malaysiakini of misquoting him in its article, which had translated the Bahasa Malaysia portion of his remarks to mean that he was threatening to slap the Chinese.
The Pasir Salak MP also told Sin Chew Daily that he did not fear any disciplinary action from his party over the incident as he had not issued any inappropriate statement in an official capacity.
However, Tajuddin’s off-the-cuff remark appears to have riled up even his political allies in Barisan Nasional (BN), with both MCA and Gerakan saying they will issue a formal protest note and ask the coalition leadership to punish the Perak lawmaker.
“MCA will lodge a formal protest via the BN channel and request that the coalition stops and takes action against such a person who has brought destruction towards national unity.
“We want Tajuddin to apologise to the people of Malaysia for his damaging remark,” MCA secretary-general Datuk Seri Ong Ka Chuan in a statement.
Ong ticked off Tajuddin, telling his Umno ally to first check his facts before issuing such reckless comments on Chinese Malaysians.
Tajuddin’s remark was ostensibly in response to a comment by Chinese ambassador to Malaysia Huang Huikang in Petaling Street last week that Beijing would not hesitate to speak out against any threat that may affect the country’s ties with Malaysia, in commenting on the communal tension here.
It seems that the BN leaders can change their stance overnight. Ku Nan defended Tajudin saying that he was misquoted by the media. Now, what do they have to say since there’s proof of what Tajuddin said. Oh…it was only a joke.
So, since it is a joke, so stop talking about this and don’t sensationalize it. These low grade leaders are truly a waste of tax payer’s money.