A Race Relations Act is sorely needed to deal with racist remarks that can incite hatred, PKR said today.
It said it supported such a legislation in view of the derogatory remarks allegedly uttered by the principal of SMK Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra in Johor.
On Aug 12, the principal Siti Inshah Mansor allegedly told the Chinese to go back to China and likened Indians to dogs.
Enraged parents lodged police reports over the matter, but education director-general Alimuddin Mohd Dom dismissed it as a mere misunderstanding.
In a press statement today, PKR vice-president Azmin Ali said a Race Relations Act is needed to deal with such incitement to hatred.
“The proposed legislation will provide the mechanism to resolve such issue when it occurs in order to safeguard unity and harmony in Malaysia,” he said.
He also condemned Alimuddin’s statement, saying:
“This incident had been widely publicised and it is matter that affects the entire nation. It is irresponsible to say the issue is just a mere misunderstanding.”
Azmin also urged the authorities to suspend Siti Inshah pending an investigation into the incident.
“If it is proven that she had made the statement, she should be immediately removed,” he said.
He added that such a racist statement is not an isolated incident and it must be dealt with in a holistic and comprehensive manner.
“This incident is a manifestation of a bigger problem, which is Barisan Nasional’s tacit encouragement of inciting racism and the lack of political will on its part to deal with the problem.”
“As long as draconian laws such as the Internal Security Act and the Sedition Act exist, healthy debates will continue to be stiffled and extremists group will use this to incite racism,” said Azmin.