Monday, September 01, 2008

Ahmad "Penumpang" Ismail

UMNO Bukit Bendera Division Chief, Datuk Ahmad Ismail has once again demonstrated the party's true colours and they obviously will never learn or change their bigoted ways.

This time round, even their badly discredited political partners, MCA and Gerakan came out strongly to denounce his statements made during the recent Permatang Pauh elections that the Malaysian Chinese were "penumpang" (squatters) and cannot be trusted to whip up racial support for UMNO. And he did it in front of Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak, without any reprimand from the latter.

Will it however be a complete show, signature campaigns and all, and Datuk Ahmad Ismail gets away scot free? Well, it certainly looks like it.

There is no other term to describe the Prime Minister and UMNO president, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's response to the controversy except to call him totally spineless. His only comment to the press to date:
"I will tell him not to do it again. You know in a campaign all sorts of things can come up. I don’t think he meant it. I’ll make sure to tell him not to use it again."
The response is almost laughable. I believe it isn't necessary for DAP to do much to ensure the continued political demise of MCA, MIC and Gerakan. UMNO, including the Prime Minister himself, will do it for us. All these controversies are happening as Malaysia celebrate its 51st Merdeka anniversary, packed with the rhetoric of national unity and harmony.

DAP has filed police reports throughout the country in every state today to symbolically voice our utmost disgust and disappointment with Datuk Ahmad Ismail for his racist remarks. It is our solemn protest to ask UMNO to uphold the spirit of Merdeka.

Many have pointed out the fact that Datuk Ahmad Ismail's remarks have created feelings of discontent and hurt among the various races in the country, which is deemed illegal under the Sedition Act Clause 3(1)(e) which states that it is seditious:
to promote feelings of ill-will and hostility between different races or classes of population of Malaysia
While, the criticism of Sedition Act is its lack of clarity and subjectivity of what is deemed to promote "feelings of ill-will", Datuk Ahmad Ismail has clearly and conclusively breached another clause under Sedition Act, 3(1)(f) which deems seditious any act:
to question any matter, right, status, position, privilege, sovereignty or prerogative established or protect by the provisions of Part III of the Federal Constitution...
Now, Part III of the Federal Constitution is on Citizenship where it guarantees citizenship under Article 14
  1. Subject to the provisions of this Part, the following persons are citizens by operation of law, that is to say:
(a) every person born before Malaysia Day who is a citizen of the Federation by virtue of the provisions contained in Part 1 of the Second Schedule; and

(b) every person born on or after Malaysia Day, and having any of the qualifications specified in Part 11 of the Second Schedule.

Hence, under Malaysian laws, one cannot question the citizenship of Malaysians regardless of race or religion.

I've read the relevant clauses a few times, and I can see it no other way than to say that Datuk Ahmad Ismail is in breach of Malaysia's laws and the Attorney-General must initiate actions against him. The offence is punishable by being sentenced to 3 years jail or RM5,000 fine or both.

Will Pak Lah act to uphold Malaysian constitution and laws? Or will he finally pick up political courage to do the necessary? Will MCA and Gerakan accept no punitive or concrete actions against Datuk Ahmad Ismail? Or will UMNO and Barisan Nasional component parties continue with its rhetoric of national unity, which can no longer mask its "cakap tak serupa bikin" culture.
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