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Media statement by Teresa Kok Suh Sim in Kuala Lumpur on Thursday, 17th March 2011:

Nazri Aziz's sweeping statement that Malaysians who live abroad do not love our country is most hurtful and disrespectful of their contribution

I am appalled by Minister in the Prime Minister's Office Nazri Aziz statement in the Dewan Rakyat yesterday that Malaysians who live abroad don't deserve the right to have the postal vote because they don't love Malaysia. He said, "Kalau dah duduk (luar Malaysia) 5-6 tahun, tak balik-balik tu, tak sayang Malaysia lah."

His statement is most insensitive, hurtful and shows utter disrespect to our fellow Malaysians' personal choice to live abroad whether for work or studies. He ought to recognize that in today's globalised world, Malaysians will travel to wherever they can to pursue what they perceive to be a better life, higher income and brighter future for themselves and their loved ones.

This pursuit for a better life must be respected and it is most shameful of Nazri to use it to cast aspersions upon Malaysians who live abroad.

Furthermore, his statement reveals his ignorance of how Malaysians who live abroad contribute to Malaysia's economy by way of foreign remittance.

I urge Nazri to get off his moral high horse, retract his hurtful statement and apologise unreservedly for his most hurtful remark to Malaysians abroad. Failing which, he gives the Malaysians living abroad yet another reason to stay abroad, far away from the idiocy of Nazri's insensitive and hurtful remarks.

* Teresa Kok Suh Sim, DAP National Organizing Secretary, Selangor State Senior EXCO for Investment, Industry & Trade & MP for Seputeh



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