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Ahmad's rights suspended for 3 years

Adapted from sun2surf, harakahdaily and thestaronline

*Reaction from MCA President

*Reaction from UMNO Youth Chief

*Reaction from Gerakan Wanita Chief

*Reaction from Penang UMNO Deputy Liaison Chief

*Reaction from MCA Secretary General

*Reaction from Liberal Democratic Party President

*Reaction from Koh Tsu Koon

*Reaction from Lim Guan Eng

*Reaksi dari Mursyidul Am PAS

Ahmad's rights suspended for 3 years

by Husna Yusop
KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 10, 2008): Umno Bukit Bendera division chief Datuk Ahmad described his suspension as “fated” and said he accepted the decision of the Supreme Council with an open heart.

In a press conference held immediately after Abdullah announced the council’s decision, Ahmad said although he felt sad, he loved the party and promised to make a comeback.

“I thank Pak Lah and Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak for bringing my case to Umno for it to decide rather than to BN. This is the right thing to do. If they had brought it to the BN for it to decide, I would not agree,” he said.

He claimed that more than 10 buses of supporters had wanted to come and protest in front of the Umno building yesterday but he appealed to them not to do so in order not to create chaos.

He also urged his supporters, especially in Bukit Bendera, to remain calm, adding he will go round the country to explain the situation to party members.

Asked whether he is prepared to face the Internal Security Act, he retorted by asking the reporter whether she was trying to commit an offence under the Sedition Act.
The party has also decided that all Barisan Nasional (BN) component parties must be strict and take disciplinary action against any members who act or make any statements which can rouse anger and affect the relationship between coalition members.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, who is also Umno president, told a press conference the decision was reached during the Supreme Council meeting today which had convened specifically to discuss Ahmad’s case.

"The Supreme Council was of the view that Ahmad’s statements and action which had created unease, anger and objections from among BN component parties were serious and decided to suspend his rights in the party for three years according to Article 20.9 of the party constitution," he said at the party headquarters.

According to Article 20.9, any member who breaches the provisions of the constitution or the party’s code of ethics can

> be imposed with a warning;
> have his rights in the party suspended;
> be prohibited from competing in any post in the party or as a candidate in the state or general election for any period determined by the supreme council;
> be dismissed from the party; or
> be imposed with any other punishment reasonable and in accordance with the constitution.

Ahmad had roused anger among MCA and Gerakan members and leaders with his statement at a political ceramah in Permatang Pauh on Aug 23 that the Chinese community are "lodgers" (penumpang) in the country and are not entitled to equal rights as bumiputras.

Police reports had been lodged against him and there have been calls for him to apologise but he refused to do so.

The BN supreme council had yesterday decided to leave it to Umno to deal with Ahmad.

Abdullah said the cabinet yesterday also discussed race relations in the country and agreed that there have been signs that the situation could lead to tension among the different races.

This is because many people have touched on sensitive issues which have never been raised before all these while and this has created a lot of negative reactions, he said.

"All this while, we have managed to control the situation to avoid undesirable incidents but we cannot allow such a situation to continue as it could disrupt public harmony.

"Therefore, we have decided to instruct all ministries (empowered) with the relevant laws to enforce them so that hopefully, the people will understand that in a multi-racial country like ours, it is important to maintain peace and order and respect towards each other," he said.

Asked whether this means the Internal Security Act can be imposed in such cases, he said:

"If necessary, if necessary, I would like to stress it, if necessary and such an action (ISA) is appropriate to be taken, I believe the (Home) Minister would also think it is proper for such action to be taken."

To a question on whether action would be taken against the newspaper which reported Ahmad's statement, he said the decision would be made by the Home Ministry.

"Matters relating to the press, matters relating to the actions of people outside the party, as I've just said, will be decided by the relevant government departments or ministries like the Home Ministry and the Royal Malaysia Police."

He said if the political parties sensed that something had potential to create a bad situation in the country, they should lodge police reports and the same applied to the people if they felt that something not right had occurred, so that action could be taken under the law.

MCA president Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting: The persistence and efforts made by MCA, BN component parties, Chinese community and the press have got fruitful result as Umno has kept its promise to sanction Ahmad Ismail. MCA stressed that it will not tolerate and forgive anyone who broke the racial harmony and questioned the legality of the citizenship of any race in the country and the party will continue to uphold this principle in BN. The incident taught all a lesson that no one shall repeat the same mistake Ahmad made, regardless of which parties he or she is from. On whether Penang MCA will restore ties with the state Umno, Penang Umno will first assess the future political scenarioin the state and decide later.

Umno Youth chief Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein: The three-year suspension on Ahmad is a landmark decision. With this decision and the one taken by the today to ensure racial harmony is preserved, I hope all in the Barisan Nasional do not act in a manner that will be detrimental to the coalition. Component parties in the BN should emulate Umno and take stern action against any of their members who try to jeopardise national unity.

Gerakan Wanita chief Datuk Tan Lien Hoe: I'm glad that the Umno Supreme Council's decision that Ahmad Ismail's remarks were indeed racist remarks. However, the hurt, the trauma, the anguish the Chinese community suffered and the attitude and the arrogant mannerism that Ahmad Ismail took, the accusations hurled at Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon and Gerakan, his unwarranted act of tearing Koh's picture, his disrespect and derogatory statements towards Tan Sri, a BN component party leader, does not substantiate the sentence meted out by the Umno Supreme Council. In other words, the sentence of three years suspension is a very light sentence compared with the gravity of his remarks and his actions.

Penang Umno deputy liaison chief Datuk Seri Abdul Rashid Abdullah: The decision to suspend Ahmad is appropriate and Penang Umno accepts the decision and we feel it is in the best interest of all. We will decide on the next course of action after studying in detail the punishment meted out to Ahmad.

MCA secretary-general Datuk Seri Ong Ka Chuan: The outcome shows the importance of the Barisan Nasional (BN) spirit. If such sensitive issues are not dealt with through the BN conduit, it will never end and it may evolved into a more serious and complicated racial issue. The incident taught us that since the country's independence 51 years ago, we must view the future openly; we cannot be too extreme and take the old path. Extreme and narrow thinking will destroy the country we built together. To make the country stronger, the people must learn to respect each other and stay united. We should learn from Ahmad Ismail's incident.

Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) president Datuk Liew Vui Keong : It was a timely and stern action and is reflective of Abdullah's call yesterday to BN component parties to have mutual respect for each other. By the same token, I've no doubt that all BN component heads will ensure that their members toe the line and not raise issues that can hurt the feelings of others.

Guan Eng: Umno should have expelled Ahmad

Umno should have expelled its Bukit Bendera division chief Datuk Ahmad Ismail to prove it disassociates itself completely from his extremist racist views, said DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng.

Noting that Ahmad had threatened violence against other Malaysians, especially the Chinese, he also questioned why there was no disciplinary action taken against Penang Umno committee which had supported him in the matter.

“Why is no action taken against Penang Umno for supporting Ahmad?” he asked in a brief statement in response to Umno's announcement that it was suspending Ahmad for three years for allegedly making anti-Chinese comments.

“No one will believe Umno’s sincerity and commitment in defending the rights of all regardless of race and religion,” Lim added.

He also questioned why there was nothing said against Umno members who threatened to shoot the reporter behind the story on Ahmad’s remarks that Chinese are “squatters” and could not have same rights as Bumiputras.safer, peaceful and prosperous nation together without any regard to the color of our skin.

Koh: Action is a step in the right direction

Umon’s decision to suspend its Bukit Bendera division head Datuk Ahmad Ismail is “a step in the right direction”, Gerakan acting president Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon said today.

“We hope this will serve as deterrent against similar irresponsible and insensitive actions,” Koh said in a statement.

“As several police reports have also been lodged against Ahmad Ismail, it is incumbent that the police take the necessary action in accordance with the relevant legal provisions and procedure,” he added.

“In the meantime, BN should proceed with the Code of Conduct as proposed by me and announced by the BN chairman (Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi) yesterday.”

Koh stressed that there were many pressing matters affecting the nation.

“We should all focus our efforts in implementing the various proposed reforms and accelerate the various measures to reduce the people’s economic and financial burden,” he said.

“We should also redouble our efforts in promoting greater understanding, harmony and unity amongst Malaysians from all ethnic and social backgrounds.”

Gantung keahlian Ahmad Ismail sekadar lepas batuk di tangga

Bagi PAS pula tempoh penggantungan pemimpin Umno Pulau Pinang itu selama tiga tahun tidak ubah seperti pilih kasih.

Mursyidul Am, Tuan Guru Dato' Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat berkata, sekiranya pihak lain yang membangkitkan isu perkauman seperti pernah dicetuskan Ahmad sudah tentu dikenakan tindakan ISA dan bukan sekadar tindakan tatatertib oleh parti.

"Kalau orang lain yang buat kenyataan berunsur perkauman ISAlah jawabnya, tak ada soal jawab dah, nampak sangat keputusan tu dibuat kerana pilih kasih," ujarnya pada persidangan media di pejabatnya hari ini.

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