PENANG, 16 Oct 2008: Gerakan president Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon said party Wanita chief Datuk Tan Lian Hoe did not mean to question or politicise history in her speech at the party’s national delegates conference.
He said Tan’s statement was made within the country’s current context whereby all Malaysian citizens are “Anak Malaysia”.
“In her text, she said ‘orang Melayu adalah dari kepulauan Nusantara’ (the Malays are from the Malay archipelago), not ‘pendatang’ (immigrants) from Sumatera, as reported in the media on Oct 12,” he said in a statement today.
Koh was responding to several negative reactions in media reports to Tan’s speech at the Gerakan Youth and Wanita assembly on 10 Oct.
He called on all quarters to not quarrel about past facts but to be united to face future challenges.
Koh stressed that Tan did not intend to insult Malays in view of her close ties with her constituents.
“We regret that the statement, as reported, had led to confusion, misunderstanding and uncomfortable feelings.
“We hope this clarification will correct any negative perception and will be understood and accepted with an open heart by all, especially our friends in Umno and other Malay organisations.
In KUALA LUMPUR, Koh said he clarified the issue in the Barisan Nasional (BN) management meeting today.
“I have made clarifications regarding the issue and the Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, who chaired the meeting, accepted my explanation,” he told a news conference at the Parliament building here today.
Koh said as a follow-up action, Gerakan will send a clarification note to the media, including Utusan Malaysia, which had put out many reports and comments in relation to Tan’s speech. — Bernama