Source : Malaysiakini
Deputy Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak’s apology on behalf of a Penang Umno leader for his ‘Chinese are squatters’ remarks is "inadequate and unacceptable".
According to DAP leader Lim Kit Siang, the man who made the "racist slurs" against Chinese Malaysians - Bukit Bendera Umno division chief Ahmad Ismail - has shown no sense of contrition or remorse for his action.
"How can Najib's second-hand apology on behalf of Ahmad Ismail be acceptable when Ahmad continues to be defiant and unrepentant?"
Najib had yesterday apologised on behalf of Ahmad for the hurt caused by his racial remarks.
Lim argued the cabinet had set the precedent last year when it rejected an apology by Malaysian student Wee Meng Chee, who is based in Taiwan, as inadequate.
Wee had outraged a number of Malaysian politicians with his videoclip of a rap rendition of national anthem 'Negaraku'.
Ahmad, a relatively unknown Umno division chief, burst into the media spotlight last week for allegedly describing the Chinese as immigrants squatting in Malaysia and as such they should not expect to be treated equally.
The Umno politician purportedly made the comments while campaigning for Barisan Nasional during the recent Permatang Pauh by-election, in which opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim eventually won.
During the ceramah, Ahmad also questioned the Chinese’s willingness to share and distribute their wealth equally with the other races.
Najib was at Ahmad’s ceramah
The opposition leader said that Najib, who is deputy Umno president, was also at the by-election ceramah when Ahmad made the controversial speech.
"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...".
Instead, Lim said Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi should have made a public apology for "trying to protect" Ahmad.
The prime minister, who is Umno president, said that Ahmad had not meant what he said and the Bukit Bendera party chief would be asked not to utter such remarks again.
MIC man angry
In a related matter, Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Department SK Devamany also lambasted Ahmad for his racist remarks, urging the latter to issue a public apology as soon as possible.
He said that he was saddened that Najib had to apologise on Ahmad's behalf.
"Ahmad Ismail should not have others apologising for him. He must ask for forgiveness himself as this is a very serious matter," said Devamany in a statement.
"This goes to show that Ahmad remains unrepentant...he shows no respect," he added.
The MIC man also said that Ahmad should be charged with sedition.
Meanwhile, Lim accused the Malay mainstream media, in particular Umno-controlled Utusan Malaysia and Berita Harian, of not reporting Najib's apology.
"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 news."
While the news item did not appear in Bernama’s website, Najib’s apology was however reported in both Utusan Malaysia and Berita Harian on page two of the newspapers.
Lim later contacted Malaysiakini to "retract and apologise" for his mistake in overlooking the Utusan and Berita Harian reports.
In the latest development on the matter, Penang deputy police chief Salleh Mat Rasid said that the probe against Ahmad would be completed by Friday.
At least five police reports have been lodged by DAP against Ahmad.
In regards to that, Ahmad was summoned by the police to give a statement today. However reporters failed to see him at the Bukit Mertajam police district headquarters until 7.30pm.