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Waytha wants Perak MB to act on ‘sari’ incident Joe Fernandez | June 28, 2016

KUALA LUMPUR: Hindraf Makkal Sakthi has confirmed that it has officially taken up the matter of the Ipoh City Hall not being sincere on the “sari” incident and giving a distorted take on what “kecuali” (except) in an invitation card means when translated into the English language. The NGO sent a letter in Bahasa Malaysia, signed by Hindraf Perak Chairman K. Nagesh Krishnan, to Perak Menteri Besar Zambry Abdul Kadir on Monday.

Hindraf Chief P. Waythamoorthy said in a telephone interview that Indians in the country expect Zambry to help resolve the “sari” incident.

For starters, added Waytha, they expect him to direct the Ipoh Mayor to apologise to the Indian community for the incident and pledge that such incidents and/or similar incidents will never recur.

The Indian community also expects disciplinary action to be taken against the officer concerned or the officers involved in the incident and those who gave an erroneous translation of the word “kecuali” to mislead the people. “Kecuali means except, not permitted and/or can wear,” stressed Waytha.

Further, the people expect the Ipoh City Hall’s invitation card relating to the incident, which incurred their wrath, to be withdrawn immediately and replaced with a new card for the said Aidil Fitri function hosted by the Menteri Besar Incorporated (MBI).

Waytha, in begging to differ with the translation of the word “kecuali” in the invitation card, by the Ipoh City Hall, pointed out that the Malaysian passport for example carries a cautionary note that the document can be used to travel to any country “kecuali” (except) Israel.

Going by the Ipoh City Hall’s translation of the word “kecuali” as “permitted”, he pointed out, Malaysian passport holders can visit Israel too besides other countries. “This kind of translation is a blight on Bahasa Malaysia, the national language,” fumed Waytha, a senior lawyer in private practice, and briefly in the Federal Cabinet and the Senate after the 2013 General Election.

The translation of “kecuali” offered by the Ipoh City Hall, continued Waytha, assumes that the Indian community is “illiterate” when it comes to Bahasa Malaysia. “This makes a fool of the people.”

The invitation card for the MBI’s Aidil Fitri function, scheduled to be held on 1 July 2016, states that while Malays must wear the baju kebangsaan (national dress), non-Malays can and/or must turn up in their traditional dress except (kecuali) the sari.

No explanation was given by the Ipoh City Hall on why the sari was not permitted to be worn to the Aidil Fitri function. “The invitation card is in line with the racist agenda promoted by the Biro Tata Negara (National Civics Bureau),” charged Waytha. “This is against the government’s expressed policy of promoting peaceful co-existence in the country.”