KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 12 – Malaysians on social media have taken Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to task over his labelling of Malays as “lazy” yesterday. They have also highlighted the double-standards in the use of the Sedition Act, with some questioning if the former prime minister would be charged for criticising the Malays, while others said he was at fault for creating a culture of dependency on the government with his policies.

Among them was Lawyers for Liberty executive director Eric Paulsen, who tweeted: “Hope Dr M will read ‘The Myth of the Lazy Native’ by Syed Hussein Alatas – and recognise his role & what he has done to perpetuate this.” Former Perak menteri besar from PAS, Datuk Seri Nizar Jamaluddin tweeted from his handle @mbnizar: “Tun M-melayu malas, melayu tak amanah, pencuri, geng2 melayu tak mau saman Tun M ke?” (Tun M-Malays lazy, dishonest, thiefs, Malay gangs don’t want to sue Tun M?)

Another Twitter user, Malek Hussin using @AbdMalekHussin posted: “Dr Mahathir kata, orang Melayu memang pemalas. Cuba yang cakap begitu Lim Kit Siang, Gobind Singh Deo, Tian Chua, Surendran, apa jadi?” (Dr Mahathir said Malays are lazy. What if Lim Kit Siang, Gobind Singh Deo, Tian Chua, Surendran said it, what would happen?) @AbdMalekHussin got some responses to his post, with [email protected] tweeting in reply: “akan ditangkap. Dan mungkin rumah mereka dilempar cat merah, dapat surat nyata bakal dibunuh beserta peluru.” (They would be caught. And maybe their houses would be sprayed with red paint, and they would get death threats and bullets in the mail).

Another response was from Twitter user @akurazal who simply tweeted: “Akta Hasutan.” (Sedition Act). Yesterday, Dr Mahathir said that he spent 22 years as prime minister trying to change the mindset of the Malays and turn them around, but failed to do so. “I always tell non-Malays not to think that the Malays are lazy. If anyone asks me today, I would have to say Malays are lazy,” he had said.

The Malaysian Insider’s report on Dr Mahathir’s controversial remark yesterday also drew spirited responses, with a reader using the ID angrybird14 posting: “This is lame, shameless, dishonest confession of judgement as he claimed. TDM is shedding crocodile tears. He himself once became the head of racism, cronyism, corruption and placed high importance on NEP. He should know [that] what happened today was expected. He should exercise his common sense and integrity before say anything. Who [wants] to be hard working and serious about life if everything is ‘durian runtuh’”.

Another comment to the article was posted by a reader with the user ID onenight4, who wrote: “Because you have pampered them for 25 years who to blame but only yourself.” Yet another user, TheMan6868, had this to say, believed to be in reference to Malay rights group Perkasa and Muslim rights group Ikatan Muslimin Malaysia: “Yo… Perkosa & I$MA go file police report on TDM for sedition la…..” There were also those who made references to the remark in jest, with Jimadie Shah Othman using @jimadieshah2 posting on Twitter: “Rasa malas pula nak pi sembahyang Jumaat. Ni semua salah Chedet.”

He also posted: “Lepas Chedet kata Melayu malas, saya pun rasa malas hari ni.” Dr Mahathir also mentioned the “lack of honesty and integrity” and the “failure to handle money properly” as other bad Malay traits. He spoke of his experience running a bakery after his retirement from politics. “I am operating a bakery and have given many opportunities to Malays to hold management positions. “Unfortunately, time and time again, honesty and integrity appear to be lacking as there have been staff who keep stealing. “They do not seem to understand that it is wrong to take what is not theirs, they do not think of the big picture or the long term, Dr Mahathir had said at the launch of the book “Wahai Melayu” by author Anas Zubedy in Petaling Jaya yesterday.

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