Saturday, September 6, 2008

PM: Don't create tension among races

Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi reminded all quarters, including the media, not to blow out of proportion or sensationalize issues to the extent of creating uneasiness or tension among the races in this country.

The Prime Minister said all parties needed to know their responsibilities to avoid doing things that could hurt racial sensitivities.

"It is important for us to control ourselves. I am saying this to the non-governmental organizations, associations, media, bloggers and SMS (short messaging service) users, that they must not create news which can arouse anger. This will not bring good to anybody," he told reporters Saturday after chairing the Penang Umno Liaison Committee meeting, here.

Abdullah was referring to the alleged racist statement made by Bukit Bendera Umno division chief Datuk Ahmad Ismail at a ceramah (talk) during the recent Permatang Pauh by-election.

He said Ahmad had explained that he had made a statement based on historical facts and that it was not a racist statement as reported by a local newspaper.

"He (Ahmad) regrets that it has come to this and is upset that what he had said were historical facts, but were misinterpreted by the particular newspaper while the other newspapers did not do so."

Abdullah, who is also Umno president, said of late the raising of racial issues had caused uneasiness to the various races in the country.

"People should not be raising issues that touch on racial sensitivities like religion and the social contract that can cause anger and disquiet. Unfortunately, this has happened.

"There are those who feel that their rights and sensitivities are not being considered, ignored or sidelined," he said. - Bernama

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