Link for future reference - http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2008/8/30/nation/20080830200907&sec=nation
Article and my comments below:
Saturday August 30, 2008 MYT 8:18:56 PM
PM to instruct Bkt Bendera chief not to repeat remark
By YENG AI CHUN
KEPALA BATAS: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Badawi will personally see to it that Bukit Bendera Umno chief Datuk Ahmad Ismail does not repeat his remarks about the Chinese community.
“I’ll tell him not to do it again. You know during campaigning all sorts of things can come up. I don’t think he meant it. I’ll make sure to tell him not to say it again,” he said Saturday after chairing the Bertam Umno division meeting here.
Ahmad had allegedly called the Chinese "squatters" and said that "as the Chinese were only immigrants it was impossible to achieve equal rights amongst races" during a ceramah in Permatang Pauh on Aug 25.
He had allegedly made the remark in the presence of Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
Ahmad’s remarks have caused a furore among the Barisan Nasional component parties after it was printed in several Chinese newspapers.
Penang Gerakan Youth committee member Dr Thor Teong Gee lambasted Ahmad and alleged that Umno was still using racial ideology to achieve its personal political agenda.
Bukit Mertajam MCA division chairman Lau Chiek Tuan said disciplinary action should be taken against Ahmad.
“An apology is not enough to the Chinese community. We want Umno to take disciplinary action against him. We want him to leave Barisan and Umno because he has broken the racial harmony (of the parties),” said Lau, adding that the division had also lodged a police report against Ahmad.
Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng’s political secretary Ng Wei Aik has also called on Ahmad to immediately retract his statement and apologise to the community.
Ahmad could not be reached for comment.
In George Town, 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.
Speaking to reporters after that, H’ng reminded people of all races to learn and be aware about the contribution of other races to the nation so that they won’t look down on others.
PKR adviser Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said Umno leaders should stop using racial sentiments to seek support from the people.
“They (Umno leaders) do not seem to understand history very well.
“They are not being respectful and sensitive toward the feelings of the non-Malays,” he told reporters Saturday at a thanksgiving luncheon in Kampung Permatang Pasir, Permatang Pauh.
1. To me, Ahmad Ismail is either a racist or a liar, and clearly does not deserve to be called Datuk. Calling him a Datuk merely insults all the other Datuks.
2. His public remarks as a community leader (Chinese = squatters; Chinese = immigrants; Chinese = less than equal rights) are completely unacceptable to me, and I'm sure to every right thinking Malaysian.
3. I wonder if Ahmad Ismail ever mixes with Malaysians Chinese at all. If he does, why doesn't he tell them to their face that they are squatters, immigrants and deserve less than equal rights? Why didn't he tell them in their face, but behind their backs, told the entire world that Chinese = squatters, Chinese = immigrants, Chinese = less than equal rights?
Isn't this behaviour clearly one of a liar and a morally defective character?
4. If 3. isn't applicable i.e. if he doesn't mix with Chinese at all, what does that tell you about racial unity when a community leader and a Datuk like Ahmad Ismail doesn't lead by example? Is Ahmad Ismail a suitable person to be a community / UMNO leader?
5. To me, Ahmad Ismail - by his public display - is clearly unsuitable to be both a Datuk, as well as a community / UMNO leader. I demand UMNO sack him immediately, to show the world that UMNO is dead serious about National Unity. Similarly, if Pakatan Rakyat MP were to say the same thing, I would also demand no less!
6. UMNO and PM Abdullah's choice is actually very simple. Which is more important - National Unity (which include respecting every race in Malaysia), or condoning Publicly Uttered Racist Remarks? If you sincerely believe that the former is clearly more important, discipline and sack the guy. Period. There should be no 2nd thoughts.
Conversely, UMNO's lack of action clearly shows that the former is simply not a priority nor a consideration. Rhetorics by PM Abdullah is cheap, and means nothing. Action speaks louder than words.
7. What is the point of spending Billions of $ in Budget 2009 to promote racial unity, when, we tolerate public remarks like Ahmad Ismail? Which does greater damage to racial unity - Ahmad Ismail remarks, or not spending Billions? His insensitive and public racist remarks has the potential to undo a lot of good things in this country, or whatever good that is left.
8. Deputy PM Najib was present when the racist remarks were made! Why didn't Najib publicly state that this is completely unacceptable? Doesn't he realize that his silence is equivalent to acceptance? Is this someone Malaysians want as the next Prime Minister? If he continues to remain silent, I certainly don't.
9. PM's response and statements are extremely dissappointing for several reasons.
9.1. First, PM Abdullah - as a PM for all Malaysians - must make it very clear with no uncertain terms - that community leaders must never incite racism in a public setting. There should never be a valid reason to incite racism in a public setting. We must never tolerate this as a nation.
9.2. Second, DPM Najib has erred and needs to be corrected by the PM.
So, if I were the PM and want to talk to someone, I would talk to DPM Najib first than Ahmad Ismail.
I will make it clear to DPM Najib that Ahmad Ismail's behaviour is completely unacceptable. I will also make it clear to Najib that his silence then is also unacceptable.
I will not accept any excuses from Najib.
And I will then instruct Najib to correct his mistake by delegating this to him personally to handle the disciplinary action on Ahmad Ismail.
In other words, as a First World leader, PM Abdullah must make sure that his deputies are at least as capable as he is. And he cannot do everything himself.
Obviously, there is no point for PM Abdullah to correct Ismail Ahmad, when his very own DPM still thinks it is publicly acceptable.
9.3. Third, I am dissappointed that PM Abdullah made at least 2 excuses on Ahmad Ismail. First excuse = "You know during campaigning all sorts of things can come up". Excuse me? This is a public speech by Ahmad Ismail. He incited on his own initiative these racist remarks publicly. PM Abdullah even dare to give an excuse?
Second excuse = "I don’t think he meant it. ". What? You haven't even spoken to the guy, and you already made excuses on his behalf? Or are you saying you spoke to him earlier, he told you that he didn't meant it, and you didn't chide him then? PM Abdullah, are you are First World Leader, or a Third World Leader?
PM Abdullah - if you are a true First World leader, you should NEVER make excuses when one of your guys has incited racism publicly.
Your 2 excuses tells me loudly that you are NOT SERIOUS about national unity.
Your 2 excuses tells me loudly that you do not intend to take stearn disciplinary action against Ahmad Ismail.
Your 2 excuses tells me loudly that you actually condone his behaviour, and sends a loud message that it is acceptable for other UMNO community leaders to repeat such behaviour!
Your 2 excuses are simply UNACCEPTABLE to me!
If you continue to make these excuses, then, I demand that you step down immediately Mr PM, as you are clearly UNFIT to lead this nation! The longer you stay on, the more likely Malaysia will never achieve its Vision to be a First World developed country by 2020.
10. It is commendable that Gerakan Youth has filed a police report. But PM Abdullah doesn't seem genuine to take disciplinary action. Instead, he prefer to make excuses. So, Mr Gerakan Acting President Koh Tsu Koon - as the leader of Gerakan party, what are you going to do about it? Lie down like a low lying dog again?
11. I notice Bukit Mertajam MCA called for disciplinary action. But PM Abdullah again doesn't seem genuine. So Mr MCA President - as leader of MCA party, my question to you is the same one as I asked in 9. above. What are you going to do about it? Lie down like a low lying dog again?
12. And where is all the other BN component parties like MIC? Mr MIC President - no comments from you because it's Chinese and not Indians? Remember - when you don't speak when injustice is being done to other races, one day, don't be surprised when others don't speak up when injustice is done to your own race.
13. Imagine this were to happen in a First World country like the USA where a Republican party leader were were to say the same kind of things that Ahmad Ismail did - e.g. Blacks = squatters, Blacks = immigrants, Blacks = less than equal rights. Do you seriously think that the US President and leader of the Republican Party George Bush could get away doing to same thing as what our PM Abdullah is planning to do?
If George Bush doesn't immediately sack the guy, you can be sure the Republican Party will sack him! In fact, it is obvious the entire America will reject Bush AND the Republican Party if he doesn't immediately take stearn disciplinary action on the errant guy and his 2nd in charge! No question about it.
14. With this type of third class mindset deeply prevailing in BN parties, do you think Malaysia will be able to fulfill its Vision to be a First World nation by 2020, which is only less than 12 years away?