Malaysia Prime minister and UMNO President Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi will personally see to it that Bukit Bendera UMNO chief Datuk Ahmad Ismail does not repeat his remarks about the Chinese were mere squatters or temporary residents of the nation and therefore, it was impossible to achieve equal rights amongst races in the country.
“I will tell him 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,” the Prime Minister said after chairing the Bertam UMNO division meeting yesterday.
Ahmad had allegedly called the Chinese pendatang (immigrants) and was also reported to have said that “the Chinese were mere squatters or temporary residents of the nation and therefore, it was impossible to achieve equal rights amongst races in the country." during a ceramah in Permatang Pauh in Aug 25.
He had allegedly uttered the remarks in the presence of Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
Gerakan, a component of the Barisan Nasional (BN), has called for stern action against Bukit Bendera UMNO division head Datuk Ahmad Ismail over his recent “seditious” remarks on the Chinese community.
Gerakan secretary-general Datuk Seri Chia Kwang Chye in a statement said, “Many Malaysians are disappointed with the mild statement by Prime Minister and UMNO resident Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi when commenting on the seditious statement by Datuk Ahmad Ismail.
“They (Malaysians) had expected a strong rebuke, especially on Aug 31, a day all Malaysians celebrated the country’s independence. After 51 years of independence, any further doubt of loyalty of any Malaysian of any ethnic origin and the questioning of citizenship is beyond the understanding of all Malaysians.”
“Ahmad’s statement was outdated and racially provocative, adding that any sign of the Barisan Nasional tolerating any out rightly racist and provocative views would give the wrong signal to the people.”
“Ahmad Ismail should not only retract what he uttered and also apologize to all Malaysians but also be disciplined so as to prevent such divisive statement or action from being repeated. Such archaic views can further divide a multi-ethnic country like Malaysia,” he added.
Gerakan vice-president Datuk Dr Teng Hock Nan, in another statement, urged the UMNO and Barisan Nasional (BN) leadership to review its stance against Ahmad. He called on the police to investigate the matter as the MCA and Gerakan Youth had lodged a police report against Ahmad.
Penang Gerakan Youth committee member Dr Thor Teong Gee lambasted Ahmad and charged that UMNO was still using racial ideology to achieve its own personal political agenda.
Bukit Mertajam MCA division chairman Lau Chiek Tuan called for disciplinary action against Ahmad.
Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng’s political secretary Ng Wei Aik also called on Ahmad to immediately retract his statement and apologize to the community.
Meanwhile, Tanjung Gerakan Youth division chief H’ng Khoon Leng lodged a police report at the district police headquarters in Patani Road over Ahmad’s alleged remarks.
MCA Youth chief Datuk Liow Tiong Lai said there was no reason for Ahmad to stir racial feelings with his remarks.
“This is the Merdeka month and such a racist remark should not have been made,” he added.
Parti Keadilan Rakyat adviser Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said UMNO leaders should stop using racial sentiment to seek support from the people.