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Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Senator clarifies 'drop religion in MyKad', apologises for 'embassy in Israel'

DAP senator Nga Hock Cheh has clarified his remarks concerning the MyKad, which drew brickbats from various quarters.
He claimed that his statement regarding this issue was misquoted and misunderstood.
Nga said he never mentioned that a person's religion should be excluded from the MyKad but rather stressed on the importance of national identity.
According to the Hansard on his speech at the Dewan Negara on April 24, the senator, when speaking on the impediments to national unity, said: “When a child is born, he or she is given an identity according to race. The child is not given national identity. If the child, from young, considers him or herself a Malaysian citizen, the issue of racism will not arise.”
In a statement this evening, Nga said Umno senator Megat Zulkarnain, who was not present during his speech, had misquoted his remark and deemed it dangerous.
He claimed that certain media organisations such as Utusan Malaysia and Bernama had also misreported his speech.
“My emphasis was the identity by nationality and not identified by race. I did not make any statement about religion. I also did not make any suggestion that religion is excluded as alleged by others.
“It is unfortunate that my suggestion for promoting national unity has been misquoted and twisted by certain quarters for political mileage and for reasons best known to them at the expense of truth, and dignity of the Dewan Negara and national interests. I hope the relevant parties who have misreported my speech will do the necessary correction,” he added.
'Embassy in Israel' to broker lasting peace
On another matter, Nga said he had apologised and retracted his remark in the Dewan Negara that Malaysia should consider establishing an embassy in Israel.
However, the senator claimed that the suggestion was made with the aim of brokering lasting peace in the Middle East.
“With a view of helping Palestine achieve peace, my intention was to suggest a change in our country's current approach, to hopefully broker a peace treaty between Palestine and Israel.
“However, given the sensitivity of these subjects and to avoid offence and misunderstanding, I had sincerely and voluntarily offered my apology during my clarification in the Dewan Negara on April 25 and wish to withdraw the statement henceforth,” he added.
In a separate statement, Bukit Mertajam MP Steven Sim said DAP has always supported the Palestinian struggle against the oppression of Zionist Israel.
“Friends from Palestine have met us on numerous occasions and expressed their gratitude for the support. Therefore, there is no reason to doubt DAP's stand in this issue,” he added.
The DAP lawmaker also noted Nga's decision to apologise and retract his statement in order to avoid misunderstanding and slander. - Mkini

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