Don’t get upset over Nizar’s mistake, Karpal urges Sikhs
PENANG: DAP chairman Karpal Singh has come to the rescue of Perak Mentri Besar Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin, saying he referred to Sikhs as Bengalis “in ignorance.”
Urging the Sikh community “not to get upset”, Karpal Singh said that although Sikhs and Bengalis were different, it was a very “trivial” matter.
“In Malaysia, both are commonly referred to as the same, so there is no need to be offended. After all, a rose would smell as sweet by any other name,” he said after attending Vaisakhi prayers at the Gurdwara Sahib yesterday.
However, Khalsa Dharmic Jatha Gurdwara vice-president Baljit Singh disagreed.
“That very utterance has made the Sikhs a laughing stock of other communities. How can we expect society to know the difference between the two communities when the leaders themselves cannot?” he said, adding that Nizar owed Sikhs an apology.
Nizar, who made the reference at a PAS function in Ipoh on Sunday, later admitted his mistake.
In Malaysia, Sikhs have been mistakenly referred to as Bengalis for decades.