PETALING JAYA: Malaysians have not taken kindly to former premier Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s recent remark citing chopsticks as an example of why there are divisions in the country.

Some users on Twitter were also left perplexed by Dr Mahathir’s statements.

“Yes, eating with chopsticks resulted in separation, not the real race issues that are going on in our daily lives?” user Ashraff questioned.

“How else are we supposed to eat a boiling hot bowl of noodles? We can’t use our hands for that, can we? If we use a fork, does that mean we’re implementing Western culture?” user Kptan said.

Other social media users also said Dr Mahathir should be instilling unity instead.

“Diversity matters, there are other ways to assimilate. Countries like Australia with a single education system is able to bind all the ethnic groups together.

“They sing the national anthem and represent their country in sports and they excel.

Why can’t we do the same?” Twitter user Arief Amron said.

In agreeing with Arief, a user named Michael said the use of chopsticks had nothing to do with politics.

“Using chopsticks is (part of) a culture. Japanese and Koreans also use them. Also, there are many Chinese who do not know how to use chopsticks.

“It has nothing to do with politics, at all,” he said.

During the launch of his book Capturing Hope: The Struggle Continues For A New Malaysia on Sunday (Dec 12), Dr Mahathir said: “The Chinese eat with chopsticks, they don’t eat with their hands.

“They have not adopted the Malaysian way of eating food. They retained the chopstick, which is an identity from China, not Malaysia, and many other things,” he said, adding that some Malaysians clinging to their ancestral roots only divides rather than unifies the people.

Earlier on Monday (Dec 13), PKR Sarawak election candidate Cherishe Ng also said she was offended by Dr Mahathir’s comments.

“We know Malaysia is a multi-ethnic country,” she said while launching her election manifesto at PKR’s operations centre in Batu Lintang.

“As a Chinese, I feel insulted by his comments and he should not have said such a thing.

“Chopsticks have a 4,000-year heritage and (their use) is very common today,” she said, adding that chopsticks are also used by some Malays and Dayaks.

Ng also said Dr Mahathir should have spoken about integration rather than assimilation.

source: https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2021/12/13/malaysians-slam-dr-ms-chopsticks-remark-say-it-avoids-the-real-issues

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