India has rebuked Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad's remark yesterday, which called the country's recently approved Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) as discriminatory to Muslims.

India's Ministry of External Affairs further called on Malaysia to refrain from commenting on internal developments in India, especially "without a right understanding of the facts."

"The Citizenship Amendment Act provides for citizenship through naturalisation to be fast-tracked for non-citizens who are persecuted minorities from three countries.

"The Act does not impact in any manner on the status of any citizen of India or deprive any Indian of any faith of her or his citizenship.

"Therefore, the prime minister of Malaysia’s comment is factually inaccurate," the ministry reportedly said in a statement yesterday, according to Malaysiakini.

Mahathir, had on the sidelines of the KL Summit yesterday, slammed the CAA, and drawn parallels to the Chinese and Indians given citizenship here.

"Already people are dying because of this law, so why is there a necessity to do this when all this while, for 70 years almost, they have lived together as citizens without any problems?

"If we do that here, you what will happen. There will be chaos, there will be instability and everyone will suffer," the premier was quoted by The Star.

Mahathir further cited the Chinese and Indians being granted citizenship in Malaysia.

“We have accepted the Indians who came to this country, and the Chinese.

“We gave them citizenship even when they did not qualify and they are all in the government, ” he was quoted saying.

The said law, brought forward by the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), provides citizenship to religious minorities from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan.

Critics have claimed it will marginalise Muslims in the country, but New Delhi has denied it, saying it is aimed at giving sanctuary to people fleeing religious persecution instead.

Riots have broken out across India against the act. According to reports, at least 8 people have died, and hundreds of others, including women and children, have been arrested.

Source: Malaysiakini, The Star
Photo source: Astro Awani