Former Indonesian law and human rights minister Hamid Awaludin (centre) during a press conference held at Sheraton Imperial Hotel, Kuala Lumpur, today. Pix by Saifullizan Tamadi

KUALA LUMPUR: Former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad's derogatory remarks against the Bugis community demonstrates that he has ‘post-power syndrome’, said former Indonesian law and human rights minister Hamid Awaludin today.

He said after Dr Mahathir ended his tenure, he had issues with those who filled his post including Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

"Even if he wants to pick a fight, he should never raise the issue of race and ethnicity," he said during a press conference.

"It is unbelievable that 72 years after World War 2 when Adolf Hitler claimed an Aryan race was superior, there are still politicians who play the race card," he said.

Hamid said the Bugis community has contributed a lot to Malaysia's economy.

"The palm oil industry in remote areas in Malaysia and also the farming industry is dominated by the Bugis community, from the farmers right up to management."

Hamid further said Dr Mahathir's remarks would create divisiveness, and added that he should apologise without having to be told to do so.

Malaysia Umno Youth executive council member Datuk Hazali Abu Hassan said attempts to deliberately link a race to piracy was an act of desperation.

"This irresponsible statement cannot be taken lightly as it can undermine the reputation of a community.

"Has Dr Mahathir forgotten that many from the Bugis community have helped him. He must remember that many Bugis descendants played a role in helping the nation gain independence and in developing it," he added.

Also present at the press conference was Umno youth chief Datuk Mohd Razlan Mohammad Rafii.

Razlan urged Dr Mahathir to retract the statement as it was not aimed at a specific person but the whole Bugis community.

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