Media Statement by Lim Kit Siang in Petaling
Jaya on Thursday, 11th September 2008:
Ahmad Ismail’s 3-year Umno suspension –
“water off a duck’s back” as evident from his immediate defiant response
to go on a nationwide tour of Umno divisions to justify his refusal to
apologise for his provocative, inflammatory and racist “penumpang”
The Umno Supreme Council’s three-year
suspension of Umno Bukit Bendera Umno division chairman Datuk Ahmad
Ismail of his Umno membership for his provocative, inflammatory and
racist reference of the Malaysian Chinese as “penumpang” is too little,
too late and too ineffective.
For Ahmad, the Umno Supreme Council decision is just like “water off a
All these three attributes of the Umno Supreme Council decision being
“too little, too late, too ineffective” were instantly evident from the
immediate press conference held by Ahmad after the Umno Supreme Council
decision yesterday, viz:
• Firstly, Ahmad remained defiant and
unremorseful for his provocative, inflammatory and racist statement
maintaining that he would not apologise although he accepted the
Umno Supreme Council’s decision on him;
• Secondly, Ahmad declared that his “suspension” would not stop him
from being active in the party, albeit unofficially, as he cannot
hold posts defined in the party constitution, adding: "If my
division is smart enough and creates a new post, such as division
advisor, I can still be advisor."
• Thirdly, he announced immediate plan to tour the country and
explain to Umno divisions about the matter, and declared: "I promise
one thing - I will make a comeback to Umno."
• Fourthly, Ahmad’s defiance and total lack of remorse is not just
individual bravado but clearly had powerful UMNO backing as
indicated by the fact that he held his immediate press conference at
the Umno headquarters at PWTC, Kuala Lumpur which was attended by
the Umno Secretary-General Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Mansor.
• Fifthly, Tengku Adnan’s presence at Ahmad’s press conference after
being suspended as Umno for three years is most extraordinary and
telling, for it could only mean that Ahmad has official Umno support
or blessing for his interpretation that despite his three-year
suspension, he could be appointed as “advisor” for Umno divisions
with full liberty to go on a nation-wide tour to meet Umno divisions
to justify his refusal to apologise for his provocative,
inflammatory and racist reference of Malaysian Chinese as
“penumpang”and do not deserve equal rights and to drum up UMNO
support for his stand.
• Sixthly, the conspicuous failure of the Umno Supreme Council to
take disciplinary action against the 13 Penang Umno division leaders
who had supported and egged on Ahmad in his inflammatory,
provocative and racist rants and acts in the past two weeks.
UMNO Youth leader Datuk Seri Hishammuddin
Hussein said Barisan Nasional component parties should take appropriate
action against their respective members if they go against party lines
and raise sensitive issues.
He said the Umno decision to suspend Ahmad should also mean Barisan
component parties show consistency by taking action against their own
members when they stoked ill-feelings among the people.
This is the Star report:
Hishammuddin referred to an earlier
incident involving Gerakan, where its Youth vice-chief S. Paranjothy
created unpleasantness last year when he had reportedly said on the
Internet that the Indian community were treated like fourth-class
“Hishammuddin said he called for Umno to break off ties with Gerakan
due to the statement at the time.
“He added that acting Gerakan president Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon had
asked him to not push for action to be taken against Paranjothy
because of the impending general election in March.
“Now when the same situation has happened (in
Ahmad’s case), the concerned party should see Umno’s decision as a
sign that when we criticise someone, what comes around will come
around,” he told reporters after an Umno supreme council meeting.
Hishammuddin should state whether he would
agree that disciplinary action should first be taken against him for his
various keris-wielding episodes at Umno Youth Generla Assemblies, in
utter disregard of the sensitivities of Malaysia’s plural society and
which UMNO and Barisan Nasional leaders have admitted was a major factor
for the thrashing Barisan Nasional suffered in the March 8 “political
Kit Siang, DAP
Parliamentary leader & MP for Ipoh Timor