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Thursday, September 11, 2008

Incendiary statements & Umno's inappeasable action.

DAP National Deputy Chairman and MP for Kepong Dr Tan Seng Giaw feels that the suspension of Datuk Ahmad Ismail and his defiant reaction may render the Umno action inappeasable.

At the Permatang Pauh by-election Ahmad Ismail was alleged to have said that the Chinese in the country were immigrants and squatters and did not deserve equal treatment. This has aroused strong reactions, calling for stern action against him.

Some believe that if Ahmad were to be from the Opposition, he would have been detained under the Internal Security Act (ISA).

Let us hope that the Deputy Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Ismail Omar is true to his words when he said on 10.9.2008: "We are warning everyone, irrespective of who you are, that all statements on racial sentiments must cease immediately or the police will take action..."

Over the last five decades, incendiary racial and religious statements have been made by various people including politicians who hope to garner more votes at the expense of the country. Some have got away with them. Now, globalization, political development and Internet make the response to such statements more vigorous.

In our multiracial country, we should avoid this kind of utterances. Ahmad has shown defiance. Hence, many would like the Government to investigate his involvement in various companies and the Penang Outer Ring Road Project.

Yesterday, Umno suspended him from the party for three years, stripping him of all posts and voting rights within the party, including Bukit Bendera division chief. Then, Ahmad has been reported to say that he would tour the country to meet Umno divisional members and explain the issue to them as he is still an Umno member.

Certain people maintain that the suspension is only for show. Barisan Nasional leaders laud the Umno action.

All Malaysians must always try to narrow the gap betweeen the rich and the poor and between regions. That the Government allocates 24% of the budget such as RM35 billion for education and higher education in 2009 is a step in the right direction. We should create more opportunities in education, training and acquisition of knowledge and technology.

Dr Tan Seng Giaw


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