PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) – Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng has received flak from politicians and Malaysians alike after issuing official statements in Chinese, in a country where the official language is Malay.
Mr Lim last week issued a statement regarding financial matters related to the Tun Razak Exchange in three languages – Malay, English and Chinese.
He was attacked for deviating from the usual government practice of issuing statements in Malay only, or including an English translation on matters that might have international import.
Mr Lim on Sunday (June 24) seemed to have worsened the controversy when he defended himself by issuing a statement only in Chinese on his Facebook.
Lawyer Azhar Harun, who usually supports the actions of the new Pakatan Harapan (PH) government, said while the Constitution guarantees Malaysians the right to use one’s mother tongue language, the official language is Bahasa Malaysia (BM).
He said in a Facebook post on Monday: “You are issuing a press statement and conducting a press conference as part of discharging…