September 2, 2008

Shooing Away BN component parties

Penang UMNO's Ahmad Ismail has created an uproar with his racist remarks about Malaysian Chinese during a ceramah in the Permatang Pauh by-election. Even the normally docile BN politicians are forced to come out to condemn his remarks and have called for stern action to be taken against him. They have recognized that such racist remarks in the past have alienated a large portion of the electorate resulting in the dismal performance of the BN parties in the March 8 elections. They know that to keep quiet again in the face of such blatant racist remarks will mean the loss of any remaining supporters they may have.

The greatest disappointment is the lame response of the PM who meekly says that he will tell Ahmad not to do it again! Is Badawi's position in UMNO so weak that he cannot even reprimand this UMNO division leader for such racist remarks?

Ahmad Ismail is linked to the controversial RM1.02 billion PORR project in Penang. He is a director of Peninsular Metroworks Sdn. Bhd., the company which was awarded the PORR project. In 2006, he was declared a bankrupt and was removed as a Penang Island Municipal (MPPP) councillor but was later reinstated by the then CM, Koh Tsu Koon when he managed to set aside the bankrupcy judgement against him.

Ahmad’s tongue undermining BN
Wan Hamidi Hamid
September 01 2008 - Malaysian Insider

SEPT 1 — Can Datuk Ahmad Ismail’s alleged racist remarks against the Chinese community in Malaysia be the trigger for the MCA, Gerakan and other Barisan Nasional component parties to leave the coalition?

Or will they continue to grin and bear it, as they have always done for many years, despite the Bukit Bendera Umno division chief calling the Chinese “squatters” and “as the Chinese were only immigrants it was impossible to achieve equal rights amongst races” at a ceramah during the Permatang Pauh by-election recently?

MCA and Gerakan leaders have made tough calls for Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to take stern action against Ahmad for his alleged racist remarks.

But the best answer they got from Abdullah was: “I will tell him (Ahmad) not to do it again. You know in a campaign all sorts of things can come up. I don’t think he meant it. I’ll make sure to tell him not to use it again.”

Veteran opposition leader Lim Kit Siang said the Prime Minister had caused great dismay and distress as he chose to demonstrate solidarity with Ahmad.

“Why is the Prime Minister not prepared to show ‘solidarity’ with right-thinking Malaysians who deplore Ahmad Ismail’s insensitive, offensive, derogatory and racist remarks about the Malaysian Chinese?

“I will declare my solidarity with what is right, just and true — including deploring insensitive, offensive, derogatory and racist remarks whether referring to the Malays, Indians, Kadazans or Ibans, whether it is made by a Chinese or non-Chinese leader. Why is Abdullah not prepared to take a similar stand?” he said in a statement today.

Abdullah’s stand is a disappointment as if he was going against his own 51st Merdeka message urging Malaysians of all races to work together, discard differences and prejudices and to rise as citizens with strength to face all challenges.

“No one citizen is recognised as being of a higher position than another in this nation. This nation belongs to all of us. Whether we rise or fall depends on all of us,” said the Prime Minister on the eve of the Merdeka anniversary, hoping for all Malaysians to give importance to solidarity.

His defence of Ahmad is making BN component parties uneasy. Despite tough calls, it looks like nothing is going to happen much within the federal ruling coalition. Gerakan vice-president Datuk Dr Teng Hock Nan said Abdullah’s light and non-deterrent comments would do nothing to prevent similar occurrences.

“The fact that Ahmad has refused to apologise when facing the wrath of the Chinese community showed how recalcitrant, arrogant and insensitive he is to a multiracial society like Malaysia,” he said in urging the police to investigate the police reports lodged against Ahmad’s remarks.


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8 March 2008

A New And Better Malaysia

Has Emerged