Media Statement by Lim Kit Siang in Petaling
Jaya on Wednesday, 3rd September 2008:
Five reasons why Najib's apology on
behalf of Ahmad Ismail for the latter's deroginatory and racist
reference of Chinese as "squatters" and untrustworthy Malaysians
inappropriate, inadequate and unacceptable
There are at least five reasons why Umno
Deputy President Datuk Seri Najib Razak's apology on behalf of Bukit
Bendera Umno division chief Datuk Ahmad Ismail for the latter's
derogatory, offensive, insensitive and racist reference of the Chinese
as "squatters" and untrustworthy Malaysians is inappropriate, inadequate
Firstly, why is there no public response from Ahmad Ismail himself, who
have shown no sense of contrition or remorse whatsoever in the past nine
days for his racist slurs of the Malaysian Chinese? Is Ahmad Ismail
fully confident that he has the mainstream support of Umno leaders and
members, encouraging him to show contempt for the nation-wide furore?
Secondly, how can Najib's second-hand apology on behalf of Ahmad Ismail
be acceptable when Ahmad continues to be defiant and unrepentant? Even
if Ahmad Ismail tenders an apology, the question of its adequacy will
arise, following the precedent set by the Cabinet in the Wee Meng Chee
case over his "Negaraku" rap video-clip last year, when the Cabinet
rejected Wee's apology as inadequate.
Many police reports have been lodged against Ahmad for violating the
Sedition Act. Is Najib's apology meant to be a message to the Police and
the Attorney-General that Ahmad should get off scot-free instead of
having to face the full weight of the law?
Thirdly, Najib should apologise on behalf of himself and not on behalf
of Ahmad as Najib had failed to take immediate or prompt action to
reprimand Ahmad for the latter's racist and seditious speech at a
Permatang Pauh by-election ceramah on August 24 which was attended by
Fourthly, the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi himself
should make a public apology for trying to protect and excuse Ahmad
Ibrahim for the racist and seditious speech, with the totally
unacceptable claim that the Bukit Bendera Umno division chief had not
meant what he said and that he would "tell him not to do it again".
The Prime Minister's attempt to condone Ahmad's racist speech caused
outrage among right-thinking Malaysians especially as it is the latest
example of a series of extremist, racist and seditious outbursts by Umno
leaders, such as Umno MPs shouting "Balik Cina" in Parliament and a
keris-wielding Umno Youth leader-cum-Education Minister.
Fifthly, the bona fide of Najib's apology comes into question when this
news is blacked out in the Malay mainstream newspapers owned and
controlled by UMNO, in particular Utusan Malaysia and Berita Harian. A
check with Bernama online shows that Najib's apology is reported in
Bernama's English news but blacked out in Bernama's Bahasa Malaysia
With such media manipulation of his apology, how much is one to believe
Najib when he said that Ahmad's statement did not reflect the position
and attitude of Umno or the leadership of Umno?
If Najib is fully sincere and serious about this statement of the stand
of Umno and Umno leadership in dissociating from Ahmad's speech, why is
his statement only allowed to be reported in the non-Malay mainstream
media but not in the Malay mainstream media?
*Statement on "Apology
for mistake that Najib’s “apology” blacked out by Utusan Malaysia and
Kit Siang, DAP
Parliamentary leader & MP for Ipoh Timor