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Ex-Bersatu veep to be investigated after racial slur against badminton player

Home Minister Hamzah Zainudin says several police reports have been lodged against Borhanuddin Che Rahim.

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Home Minister Hamzah Zainudin (left) with Terengganu Menteri Besar Ahmad Samsuri Mokhtar today. Photo: Bernama
Home Minister Hamzah Zainudin (left) with Terengganu Menteri Besar Ahmad Samsuri Mokhtar today. Photo: Bernama

Former Pasir Puteh Bersatu vice-president Borhanuddin Che Rahim will be investigated following his racial slur against national shuttler S Kisona, Home Minister Hamzah Zainuddin said today.

He said several police reports were lodged nationwide against Borhanuddin after his statement went viral on social media yesterday.

He said police would conduct an investigation under Section 504 of the Penal Code for intentionally insulting another with the intent to breach the peace, which is punishable with a maximum imprisonment of two years, a fine or both.

“Investigations will also fall under Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998. I am disheartened to hear a racist comment coming from a leader. Racist remarks have been frequent, including this case.

“Sometimes people get too emotional and say unpleasant things,” Hamzah told a media conference after a groundbreaking ceremony at the Terengganu police contingent headquarters (IPK) here today.

Also present were Inspector-General of Police Acryl Sani Abdullah Sani and Terengganu Menteri Besar Ahmad Samsuri Mokhtar.

The RM104 million nine-storey IPK, located on a two-hectare site in central Kuala Terengganu, is due for completion in late 2024 and will replace the current 84-year-old building.

In a similar development, Hamzah who is also Bersatu secretary-general, said that no action would be taken against Borhanuddin at the party level after he tendered his resignation and made an open apology to the public.

“Borhanuddin has apologised and tendered his resignation… so my advice to others is not to commit the same misstep. Wrong is wrong… I think he knows it. We don’t take lightly to (racist statements) but it has already happened,” he said.

Meanwhile, when queried on the claim by Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi that more leaders and members of Bersatu have expressed their wish to return to the party, Hamzah said: “I wouldn’t know… it could be his (Zahid’s) perception.”

He added that leaders have the right to join any party and that it was their own prerogative to make a choice.

Hamzah also said the actions of some leaders who exited the party would not affect people’s support for Bersatu and that in fact, total party membership has risen to 520,000 members compared to only 300,000 in the past year.