KEPALA BATAS: Aug 30, 2008 By YENG AI CHUN
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.