Thursday, April 03, 2003

Zam slams writer over statement
in BBC interview

KUALA LUMPUR: Deputy Information Minister Datuk Zainuddin Maidin has criticised Malaysian writer James Wong for claiming that “one out of three Malaysians support the war on Iraq” in a television interview by British Broadcasting Corporation.
Zainuddin, who spoke to reporters at the Parliament lobby, refused to name Wong in his criticism, saying the latter’s opinion certainly did not reflect that of most Malaysians.
He said the “certain individual” had claimed over BBC that non-Malays supporting the anti-war campaign were afraid of the Muslims in the country.
“This person has no authority to speak on behalf of Malaysians.
“I do not believe that what he said is true,” he said, adding that the interview did not reflect the views of Malaysians.
Zainuddin regretted that “this person was only being used by the foreign media to propagate the United States campaign.”
Wong, the former DAP MP for Kampar, contributes regularly to Malaysiakini.
MCA Youth international affairs bureau chief Fam Lee Ee said what Wong said was “shocking” as the majority of Malaysians were against the US attack on Iraq.
“The view of the Chinese community is clear. They have taken part in protests as well as expressed their anger in Chinese newspapers.
“It is Wong himself, who has been supporting the invasion of Iraq, in his writings in Malaysiakini and certainly not the non-Malays,” he said.
Fam said the MCA had even written a letter to French president Jacques Chirac for his strong opposition to the war on Iraq.