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YOURSAY | 'The principle of sovereignty requires dealing with each other as equals.'
Anwar: Hisham's 'big brother' China an insult to our non-aligned stance
PKR MP states 5 reasons why Hishammuddin should apologise to M'sians
Hishammuddin says 'big brother' remark refers to Wang Yi, not China
Beman: From the video of the press conference, it is not absolutely clear whether Foreign Minister Hishammuddin Hussein is referring to his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi or China as "big brother".
He may not be clear himself on what he was doing. Whatever the case is, the optics is not good for him. Maybe he intended to show respect to Wang by calling him "big brother" but his giggling had a negative effect. Wang was gracious enough to play along by saying, "We are brothers."
Also, in a press conference like this, the two foreign ministers are representing their respective countries, not themselves. It is fine for Hishammuddin to express gratitude or appreciation for the kind hospitality shown by the host.
It may also be fine to try to speak and mispronounce a few words of Chinese but as a representative of Malaysia, he must do so with dignity and decorum. The last thing he would want is to be seen as subservient or as trying to curry favour with someone or, worst, as silly.
MPJY: Hishammuddin has either been badly advised to use such a reference as "big brother", or he himself is trying to please China the wrong way.
Malaysia should show dignity through our foreign minister, not belittle ourselves. There are many other ways to show respect to other countries, such as China.
JD Lovrenciear: Malaysia calling China "big brother" is a very serious matter. Where is Malaysia's sovereign status? Where is our sense of national pride? Is our beloved nation so weak and helpless that it needs to announce to the world that we have a "big brother" behind us?
What happened to our six decades of self-rule with the lead advantages of a constitutional monarchy and parliamentary democracy? And now we need a communist country to be our "big brother"? Are we not ashamed? Does it not border on treason?
So, would it be wrong henceforth for Chinese Malaysian companies to display the communist country's national flag side by side with the Malaysian flag in their business premises? Would it be now okay for companies having direct dealings with their Chinese counterparts in trade to salute the "big brother"?
When you openly declare that China is a "big brother", it only means that you are subscribing to and soliciting some kind of protection. No democratic nation can come under the protection of a communist country or ideology. Period.
Hence our foreign minister has done great injustice to our nation. He must redress his foolish stance and apologise to all Malaysians. He should also be held accountable as the rest of the democratic block, especially the US, will have reason to eye our nation suspiciously.