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Phoong questions Tun M’s motives on ‘chopstick’ remarks

13 December 2021

By Wartawan Nabalu News

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah DAP Secretary, Phoong Jin Zhe has questioned the motives and purposes of former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad who remarked that using chopsticks is an example of why there are divisions in the country.

During a dialogue session at the launch of his new memoir ‘Capturing Hope: The Struggle Continues for a New Malaysia’, Dr Mahathir had reportedly used the example of the Chinese community using chopsticks to highlight challenges in assimilating the non-Malay population in the country.

He also said that Indonesia had been able to assimilate the Chinese population, as it was relatively small.

“Any race can eat with any cutleries anytime and this would not affect our race nor religion. I would not become a Malay if I eat with my hands. Likewise, Malays would not become Chinese if they decide to use chopsticks to eat.

“Tun Mahathir said that Chinese are hard to convert because we use chopsticks. This is actually inappropriate to Malays as well when they hear such statements,” he said in a statement today.

Phoong asserted that this has never been an issue and that it should not be in the future.

“Malaysians must object to anyone who tries to divide us. We can use chopsticks, spoons and fork, or even bare hands to eat and it would not affect us.

“We should be proud of our diversity especially on how we share various cultures and languages. We should be united through diversity.”

Mahathir’s remark has received public backlashes, mostly saying that it was racially motivated.


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