The labelling of Chinese educationist group Dong Zong as racist by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad is certainly uncalled for and most regretted.
Instead of allaying the concerns of Dong Zong on the khat issue, calling it racist will only distance it from any compromise or negotiations that should be had by all stakeholders on the matter.
Dong Zong’s concerns over the khat issue should not be brushed aside as such concerns are not unfounded and possibly represent a large section of the Chinese community on the said issue. That there is dissatisfaction over the matter on the ground is a fact and cannot be taken lightly.
If there are valid grounds to disagree with Dong Zong, they should be rationally argued and it’s concerns should not be dismissed on account of racism.
As the khat issue has attracted much criticism, it is only right for DAP Secretary General Lim Guan Eng to raise the same at the next cabinet meeting for its review, which he has confirmed he will do.
It is hoped an amicable and acceptable solution is reached on the matter as soon as possible through proper dialogue and consultation.