UMNO Deputy President Asked To Apologise For Blaming The Party’s Electoral Defeat On ‘Big Kavadi’
Bersatu’s associate member wing has called on UMNO deputy president Mohamad Hasan, also known as Tok Mat, to apologise for purportedly disrespecting Hindus.
In a statement, wing information chief S Gobi Krishnan claimed that Mohamad used the word kavadi (chariot) in an offensive manner during a brief interview with Asia Times journalist Nick Kochan.
During the talk, Mohamad used the term “big kavadi” to discuss UMNO’s defeat 14th general election (GE14), in a brief interview with Asia Times. Mohamad also incorrectly stated that the kavadi processions occurred during Deepavali, rather than Thaipusam.
“UMNO was beaten in the 2018 general election not because UMNO did not care for the people, but because we had a big kavadi – you know kavadi?
“They have this during Deepavali, they carry a lot of big kavadi. This massive baggage,” Mohamad explained to the Asia Times journalist, as reported by Malaysiakini.
Gobi Krishnan demanded an apology from the deputy president within 24 hours and threatened to lodge a police report against the latter, should he fail to comply.
“I vehemently oppose Mohamad’s reference of kavadi as a burden. This is explicitly an insult to Hindus and demonstrates his lack of knowledge about Hindu practises, culture, and faith.
“It is clear that Mohamad does not regard the sensitivities of the Hindu community,” he added.
Gobi Krishnan also clarified that carrying a kavadi was done to complete vows and to express gratitude to Lord Murugan during the yearly Thaipusam festival. It is an extremely vital and sacred tradition for Tamil Hindus.
Mohamad’s comment was not included in the Asia Times cover story, but can be heard in the recording of the discussion. The clip was made public after Mohamad accused Asia Times of misrepresenting his statements. However, the publisher and its writers have stood firm and defended themselves against Mohamad’s allegations.
Nick Kochan publicly released a three-part audio tape of his discussion with Umno deputy president. Kochan and co-author Nile Bowie debated Mohamad’s assertion that his remarks were misconstrued via Twitter on Tuesday (July 5).
After @asiatimesonline published my exclusive interview with UMNO deputy chief @tokmatn9, he claimed his remarks were taken out of content, which co-author @nilebowie and I firmly dispute. Here are the full recordings. We stand by our reporting. https://t.co/3g5V2nntBC
— NicholasKochan (@KochanNicholas) July 5, 2022
Previously, Mohamad adamantly denied telling Asia Times that former Prime Minister Najib Razak deserved to be incarcerated for his involvement in the 1MDB corruption allegations.
MU Raja, Member of the Central Allied Wing Committee of the United Party, also expressed disapproval towards Mohamad’s attitude.
“Do not disrespect the faith of the Indian community by referring to carrying kavadi as a burden. If UMNO Deputy President Datuk Seri Mohamad Hassan does not understand the Indian rituals, he can consult with his component party MIC (Malaysian Indian Congress) first,” he said, according to Malaysia Gazette.