JAKARTA: Malaysian ambassador to Indonesia Datuk Seri Zahrain Mohamed Hashim has expressed sadness over a letter he received from Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad on the Bugis remark made by the former prime minister.
Zahrain had written a letter to Mahathir on Oct 23, requesting him to take the necessary action and clear the air over the remark he made.
This is because Mahathir’s remark had incurred displeasure among the ethnic Bugis community in Indonesia, resulting in the Malaysian embassy in Indonesia having to increase security measures.
The embassy also received a memorandum from the Indonesian Bugis Macassar Youth Assembly on Oct 20 demanding that the former prime minister make a public apology.
“(However) I am sad with the answer (letter) from the (Malaysian elder) statesman,” Zahrain said yesterday.
He said Mahathir’s reply, in a letter dated Nov 1, was not only without an apology but in fact, had continued to defame Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
He said Mahathir had also said that one should not incite the Indonesians on the issue “as they (Indonesians) could not vote in the (coming) 14th general election”.
On Oct 14, Mahathir, when speaking at a gathering organised by opposition parties, had alleged that Najib’s ancestors might have been linked to “Bugis pirates”.
The matter also received a reaction from Indonesian Vice-President Jusuf Kalla who admitted that he was offended and felt insulted.
The Sultan of Selangor, Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah, had recently expressed displeasure and regret over Mahathir’s remark which was seen as an attempt to incite Malaysians to look down on the Bugis community. – Bernama