Friday, September 12, 2008

Where is your Sedition Act now, UMNO?

Malaysiakini reported that about 11 of Ahmad Ismail's supporters gathered outside of UMNO Headquarters in Kuala Lumpur; in protest of the leadership's way of handling their man. Cries of "Hidup Melayu!" greeted the UMNO supreme council members who were making their way into the building to discuss on Ahmad Ismail's fate.

The party president, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Badawi assured the public that Ahmad Ismail would have to answer for his alleged racist remarks against the Chinese community.

Ahmad Ismail (image) is currently backed by 13 UMNO divisions from Penang who believed the Bukit Bendera division chief had done absolutely nothing wrong and was merely defending the rights of the Malays. Ahmad Ismail had not only ignored orders from the Prime Minister and the Deputy Prime Minister to retract his statements but also challenged Gerakan to leave Barisan Nasional. Any action taken against Ahmad Ismail would definitely not go down too well with his supporters.

On September 10, the UMNO Supreme Council which comprised of 48 members have decided to suspend Ahmad Ismail's membership in the party for three years as a disciplinary measure after a three hour long meeting at the party's headquarters in Kuala Lumpur. [Malaysiakini]

That's it? Just three years?

The majority of Malaysians expected that Ahmad Ismail be dealt more severely for inciting racial sentiments as national unity was always a fragile matter in Malaysia's multi-cultural set up.

Ahmad Ismail said he accepted the verdict of the supreme council who, according to him, had acted to maintain national security. However, he added that he would still refuse to apologise for his racist comments and also expressed confidence in making a return to active politics after serving his suspension (of three years).

"I will not apologise. If I were a hypocrite, I would not have come this far. I am punished because of my perseverance in this matter. Like I said, I am willing bear the consequences. There is no problem," he told reporters. [Malaysiakini, 10/9/08]
Gerakan had earlier demanded Ahmad Ismail be sacked once and for all from Barisan Nasional; a notion many Malaysians would agree given the magnitude of racial instability the man had created. Only UMNO could explain why he was only 'suspended' when clearly, he should be charged under the Sedition Act without any compromise.

By all means, a suspension is not good enough to make a good example out of Ahmad Ismail. Racism is not a laughing matter and the government should show some nerves of steel when dealing with it. Ahmad Ismail could return after 3 years and continue where he left off. What then? Suspend him for another 3 years?

The hypothesis on why Ahmad Ismail was not directly charged under the Sedition Act was because he was an UMNO member; an influential one too. Badawi who is the party president explained,
"Ahmad (Ismail) is an UMNO member. Therefore, he has to go through UMNO's procedures and be brought to the Supreme Council for further action." [Malaysiakini, 9/9/08]
Party bureaucracy should never stand in the way of justice. This is double standard again; typical of UMNO. Ahmad Ismail should first be charged as a citizen of Malaysia; meaning under the law. Any disciplinary action from his party should only come subsequently, not vice-versa. Where is your Sedition Act now, UMNO?

This is another clear example of how justice was sacrificed for the sake of party stability. The Malaysian people should be placed first and not Ahmad Ismail's membership with UMNO. At the end of the day, it is the Malaysian public, particularly the Chinese community who is shortchanged of any sort of moral justice.

Perhaps the leniency of Ahmad Ismail's punishment is the most rational way to solve the issue; for UMNO at least. The party leadership had to take into account of its 13 divisions who had backed Ahmad Ismail and therefore cannot risk an internal conflict within the party. A harsher whip of the cane on Ahmad Ismail would only create more unrest among his supporters. With Ahmad Ismail leading a stubborn lot and the threat of a potential takeover by the Opposition, UMNO is now at the brink of an impending crisis.

UMNO has to fight a two-front war - to keep Barisan Nasional from caving in on itself and to stop the Opposition from taking Putrajaya on September 16. As for Badawi, he now has an uphill task to quench the mini rebellion instigated by an arrogant politician while struggling to keep the battered BN ship afloat.

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  1. lee said...

    All teachers in school should teach the children to be in the shoes of someone they are not. Besides being a pen, a coconut or a shoe....tell the children to pretend that they are Americans one day, Fijians, Indonesians or Siamese the next. Then tell the children to try to be in the shoes of refugees. The then can graduate to become Muslims, Buddhists, Christians. Best of all is to ask them to see things from the perspective of their enemy if they have one...perhaps this execises will then open the eyes of our people and make them understand and treat each other better!

  2. w said...

    He has eyes. he cannot see, he has ears, but cannot hear and a mouth just utters UMNO's rubbish...purely politically motivated. This Botak Home Minister is not fit, even to sell tribal medicine on the street. You expect him to charge the mad cow racist under ISA? Perhaps, if we change the govt. A Minister like him, encourages mad cows to roam wildly, raising keris and oozing out offensive racist remarks. No hope, don't even dream about it!

  3. Anonymous said...

    Have u guys forgot, they got their own set of rules.

  4. Anonymous said...

    perhaps there is a "hak istimewa UMNO" that we don't know or we shouldn't question