Police to quiz Ismail Sabri over boycott call

02 Feb 2015 / 21:29 H.

PETALING JAYA: Bukit Aman has stepped up investigation into the comments made by Agriculture and Agro-based Industries Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob where he is alleged to have called on Malays to boycott Chinese businesses.
Stating that the minister will be investigated under the Sedition Act 1948, Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar said that they will be calling him soon for his statement to be recorded.
"Yes, police will call this minister to record his statement pertaining to this issue where he called on the Malays to boycott Chinese businesses on Facebook," said Khalid when contacted.
After receiving several responses to his Facebook post, Ismail Sabri came forward with an explanation.
In a Facebook posting today, Ismail Sabri said his previous statement was not targeted specifically at the Chinese community, but rather at Chinese businesses which refused to reduce prices of goods despite the drop in oil price.
"They gave many excuses when the oil price was rising, as if they were doing it purposely to incite anger against the government," he said in the posting.
He said his previous posting was meant as a response to public voices in social media, venting their anger on stubborn Chinese businesses that refuse to reduce the prices of goods despite the drop in the price of crude oil.
He also said consumers should not rely solely on the government to protect them from price hikes but instead must make use of their collective power to boycott certain products.
"Consumers are in the majority while traders are in the minority. Of course, the majority can overpower the voices of the minority," he said.
"Therefore, the same principle applies that the majority must use their power and not just complain and talk in FB," he added.
In his previous controversial FB posting, Ismail Sabri had called on Malays to boycott Chinese businesses as the former comprised the majority of consumers.
"If the Malays boycott their (Chinese) businesses, they will be left with no option but to reduce the price," the posting read.
He also pointed out that Malays continue to go to Chinese-owned eateries although many of them have questionable halal status.
He singled out Old Town White Coffee as one of the eateries that should be boycotted; however many Malays failed to do so.
"Especially since the owner was said to be Ngeh's (DAP's Datuk Ngeh Koo Ham) family from Perak DAP, who is known to be anti-Islam," he said.
"As long as the Malays fail to change, the Chinese will take the opportunity to oppress the Malays," he added.
Meanwhile, MCA deputy president Datuk Dr Wee Ka Siong took Ismail Sabri to task, saying that such a statement (call for boycott) was uncalled for, as it could hurt people's feelings.
"As a minister, he should not make such ethnic generalisations. It is not as if only Chinese are businessmen."
DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang also weighed in, saying: "If a PAS or PKR leader had called on Malay consumers to boycott Chinese businesses to lower prices, or a DAP leader had called on non-Malay customers to boycott Malay businesses, the police would have immediately tweeted a directive to conduct investigation under the Sedition Act and other laws," he said.
Gerakan Wanita chief Datuk Tan Lian Hoe said the boycott call was deplorable as high prices affect everyone regardless of race.


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