A race-based gathering itself is not racist until it is used as a platform to create hate against other ethnicities, said Federal Territories Minister Khalid Abdul Samad.
Taking to Twitter today, the Amanah party leader was responding to Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who had expressed frustration over allegations that the recent Malay Dignity Congress was a racist gathering.
"Gathering is not a problem, but it is the content. All races, and ethnicities, do gather to discuss problems faced by them and the country to find ways to address the problems.
"However, if it (the gathering) is used to sow hatred towards other races, only then it is being racist," he tweeted.
Khalid's remarks were coupled with a retweet of a Bernama story on Mahathir airing his frustration over the matter.
Mahathir, who is Bersatu president, had attended the congress which was held in Shah Alam on Oct 6.
Khalid was not among those present at the congress.
The gathering had been criticised by certain quarters for its speeches, which were alleged to be racist in nature and insensitive in a multiracial country.
Mahathir had yesterday published a post on his personal blog in which he stated his take on the whole issue.
"In multiracial Malaysia, ethnicity is recognised as legitimate and proper.
"Other multiracial countries see non-indigenous people identifying themselves with the indigenous citizens almost completely. They adopt the language and culture of the indigenous people and break their link with their countries of origin. They even change their names.
"It is a measure of the tolerance of the indigenous people in Malaysia that gatherings which are confined to the different ethnic groups are accepted as normal.
"I am therefore very surprised when I was advised not to attend this Malay Congress to discuss their dignity. Obviously they are concerned over their possible loss of dignity, whatever that might mean. As usual there were extreme views but on the whole they were balanced," Mahathir wrote.
Mahathir added that he also felt hurt to think that the Malays are not supposed to have their own gathering without being accused of being racist.