PUTRAJAYA: Sept 1, 2008 By SIM LEOI LEOI and ANN TAN
MCA vice-president Datuk Dr Fong Chan Onn has joined the chorus condemning Datuk Ahmad Ismail for his racist remarks, saying that the Barisan Nasional government should consider the possibility of charging the Bukit Bendera Umno division chief with sedition.
He said this was because Ahmad had touched on the issue of citizenship involving non-Malays in the country.
“The matter of citizenship for non-Malays should not be questioned, just as some religious issues should not be called into dispute.
“An apology from Ahmad is not enough. A sedition charge should be considered against him,” he said here on Monday.
Dr Fong said this was the sentiment of most the MCA grassroots as many felt that such remarks from Umno leaders and members were “occurring too often.”
“They are very offended," he said, on reports that Ahmad had allegedly called the Chinese pendatang (immigrants) at a ceramah (political address) during the Permatang Pauh by-election campaign recently.
The remarks came to light after they were widely reported in Chinese newspapers.
On Saturday, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi had said he would tell Ahmad not to repeat such remarks and that he (Abdullah) did not think Ahmad meant what he said.
However, other Barisan leaders had called for stricter action to be taken against Ahmad.
Dr Fong said it was not enough for Abdullah to merely tell Ahmad not to repeat such statements because “the latter obviously meant what he said”.
“He uttered these remarks during a ceramah in front of the Deputy Prime Minister (Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak). I will bring this matter up at the next MCA central committee meeting,” he said.
In GEORGE TOWN, Bukit Gelugor MCA division youth chairman Koh Wan Leong said the state government should strip Ahmad of his Datukship.
Koh called on the Yang diPertua Negri Tun Abdul Rahman Abbas to do so as a lesson and reminder to others not to make remarks on sensitive issues that could provoke racial sentiment.
"The state government, as a responsible new government, should take action against him because he doesn't deserve the Datukship.
"Ahmad should also apologise openly to all the Chinese in Malaysia," Koh said at a press conference on Monday.
He also urged the Prime Minister, as the country's leader and Umno president, to take disciplinary action against Ahmad, reminding Abdullah of his National Day message that Malaysia can again overcome any test it is currently facing if "we stand together and work hand in hand."