Media Statement by Lim Kit Siang in Petaling Jaya on Saturday, 30th August 2008: 

Chinese “squatters” in Malaysia - why no MCA/Gerakan ultimatum in PP by-election?

In the past three days, spokespersons and branches of MCA and Gerakan and their youth sections have been protesting in the media against the racist remark by the Bukit Bendera Umno division chief Ahmad Ismail during the Permatang Pauh by-election campaign making derogatory reference to the Malaysian Chinese as “squatters” in the country.

Daily protests are being made in the MCA and Gerakan, including calling for MCA and Gerakan to quit the Barisan Nasional, if top Umno leaders do not take strong disciplinary action against Ahmad.

Ahmad’s speech was reported in the Chinese media on Monday, 25th August 2008 – the eve of the Permatang Pauh by-election on August 26.

Why didn’t the MCA and Gerakan Ministers and leaders take a strong stand on Monday itself to issue an ultimatum that Ahmad apologise and withdraw the racist remark, failing which they would pull out of the Barisan Nasional by-election campaign in Permatang Pauh?

Wouldn’t this be more effective and fruitful than just making protests “after the event”, although it would still get them into the newspapers despite being ignored not only by Umno, the Barisan Nasional Supreme Council but also the Cabinet?

* Lim Kit Siang,  DAP Parliamentary leader & MP for Ipoh Timor