Khalid Samad: A gathering is racist when it sets out to create prejudice (updated)
（StarOnline- Saturday, 26 Oct 2019）
PETALING JAYA: An ethnic gathering is racist when it aims to create racial prejudice, says Federal Territories Minister Khalid Abdul Samad (pic).
Khalid, who was referring to the controversial Malay Dignity Congress, said that the gathering itself was not the issue, but pointed out that the content of the event was racist in nature.
"All races, even clans, have gatherings amongst themselves to discuss their problems and how to improve their position and that of the nation.
"But when it works to create racial hatred and strife, then it becomes racist," he tweeted on Saturday (Oct 26).
Khalid was responding to a statement by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who said he was hurt that those who attended the event were labelled as racist.
"It hurts me to think in their own country the indigenous people are not supposed to have their own gatherings without being accused of being racist.
"And now of course I will be labelled a racist for writing this," Dr Mahathir wrote on his blog.
However, in other tweets, Khalid defended Dr Mahathir, saying that his speech during the gathering wasn't racially prejudiced in nature.
He said Dr Mahathir's remarks during the congress was a message to the Malays to work harder, rather than waiting to be spoon-fed.
"That era had passed. That era was to help the Malays to be independent. It's now time to be independent. You can't blame anyone."
Khalid also said Malaysians understood that Malays are the majority in the country and in order to foster peace and harmony, all races must not be left behind.
"Dr Mahathir's message during the congress isn't a message of hatred against other races. It is just a reminder to our race that we must change. Hatred towards other races will not overcome our own race's weakness. This is the message that made the organiser very disappointed," he added.