India hits back on Malaysian PM Mahathir's comment on citizenship bill
Malaysia : Malaysia's Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad on Friday shared his views on the Citizenship Bill, saying "people are dying" because of this law. India quickly responded to it and rejected the comment by saying it is "factually incorrect". India also summoned Malaysian diplomats and asked them refrain from commenting on internal developments in India.
Speaking to reporters after visiting the media centre at the Kuala Lumpur Summit on Friday, the Malaysian PM said, “I am sorry to see that India, which claims to be a secular state, is now taking action to deprive some Muslims of their citizenship.”
“If we do that here, you know what will happen. There will be chaos, there will be instability and everyone will suffer,” he said. “Already people are dying because of this law, so why is there a necessity to do this when all this while, for 70 years almost, they have lived together as citizens without any problems.”
His comments were looking as a reference that Muslims cannot live in India and only people of other religion can get citizenship in the nation, which is factually incorrect.
Mahathir added that Malaysia has granted citizenships to people from the Chinese and Indian communities.
Reacting to these comments, the Ministry of External Affairs said in New Delhi in a statement, “The Prime Minister of Malaysia has yet again remarked on a matter that is entirely internal to India. The Citizenship Amendment Act provides for citizenship through naturalization to be fast-tracked for non-citizens who are persecuted minorities from three countries. The Act does not impact in any manner on the status of any citizen of India, or deprive any Indian of any faith of her or his citizenship.”
“Therefore, the Prime Minister of Malaysia’s comment is factually inaccurate. We call upon Malaysia to refrain from commenting on internal developments in India, especially without a right understanding of the facts,” the MEA statement said.