KUALA LUMPUR: Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said he would fully cooperate with police over his statement calling for a boycott of Chinese wholesalers and traders who fail to reduce the price of goods despite the drop in oil price.
His statement has gone viral on social websites, inviting both support and ire from netizens.
Ismail Sabri had clarified on Monday that his statement was not directed at the Chinese community but at wholesalers and traders who still did not want to lower the price of goods although oil price had dropped.
“The police are only carrying out their duty. I am prepared to cooperate, no problem.
“They have not contacted me yet, and when there’s a suitable date for me, I will give police my statement,” he said at a press conference held by Umno Youth leaders and former leaders to state their solidarity and support for Ismail Sabri here yesterday.
On Tuesday too, Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar issued a statement on his Twitter page that police would be calling Ismail Sabri to record his statement.
In his statement Tuesday, Ismail Sabri said consumers should be united in putting pressure on traders in ensuring lower price of goods following the drop in oil price.
In the statement, he also called on the people to boycott wholesalers and traders who refuse to reduce the price of goods as this action would not only benefit the Malay but Chinese consumers as well.
About 200 Umno Youth leaders and ex-leaders attended the press conference to express their support for Ismail Sabri over the issue.
Speaking on behalf of the group, former Umno Youth executive secretary Datuk Zulkifli Alwi said they believed Ismail Sabri had no intention of making a statement laced with racism, but it was made polemic by certain quarters.
“The Ismail Sabri that we know is a leader who defends the interests of ordinary folk and the low-income disadvantaged group,” he said. —Bernama