Petaling Jaya, Feb 3 (ANI): Malaysia's former Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad has said that the citizenship of non-Malays in the country should never be questioned.
Dr Mahathir was commenting on the alleged racist remarks made by special officer to the Prime Minister, Nasir Safar, during a 1Malaysia seminar in Malacca.
Nasir allegedly made remarks about Indian and Chinese Malaysians being "immigrants" when referring to these communities and their feedback on certain government education policies, and also threatened to revoke their citizenship.
"This is a very bad statement to make. Even if it's true, we don't say things like that. These people have been here all these years. They are in fact the descendants of the people who came here. They have not just arrived," Dr Mahathir said.
Dr Mahatir said there was a provision in the Federal Constitution stating that while Malays were the indigenous people, non-Malays had their right to citizenship.
"That should not be questioned. We cannot banish our citizens now. The Constitution provides that you cannot take away citizenships," The Star quoted him, as saying.
Dr Mahathir said that Malaysian citizens would remain citizens until they declare otherwise when they take up the citizenship of another country.
"In some countries, you can banish your own citizens, throw them into an island or somewhere; but here, we cannot do that. Once they are citizens, they will always be citizens until they themselves declare that they are not," he added.
A statement from the Prime Minister's office on Tuesday said that Nasir would tender his resignation over the incident and his remarks did not reflect the views of the Prime Minister in any way. (ANI)