BANGI, Oct 19 — Any Barisan Nasional (BN) leader found guilty of issuing racist statements should be sacked from the coalition, Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said today after the suggestion was made by Gerakan earlier this morning.
The Umno vice-president said it is only fair that the same treatment is given to all BN leaders regardless of race.
“Don’t just focus on Malay leaders who are talking about Malay rights. What about the non-Malays fighting for non-Malay rights?
“They say something racist, sack them. Sack everybody,” he told a news conference here.
Earlier this morning, Gerakan President Datuk Mah Siew Keong proposed that the BN sack those in the coalition who are found guilty of spewing racial hatred.
In his inaugural address at his party’s 43rd National Delegates Conference, Mah said BN component parties should at the same time take disciplinary action against such leaders who are found guilty by the BN of making racist statements.
The Gerakan chief argued that this is one way to promote moderate voices as the “true heroes” of Malaysia, while taking the spotlight off extremists.
The country has seen a fair amount of racial and religious vitriol spewed over recent years, with right wing groups pushing a pro-Malay and pro-Islam narrative to counter what they claim to be an active attempt by various parties to dilute the power held by the majority Malays.
The latest controversy points to the authorities’ decision not to pursue criminal charges against Perkasa president Datuk Ibrahim Ali over his call last year to burn Malay language bibles, following claims that the holy scriptures were distributed to Muslim students in a school in Penang.
Nancy Shukri, the de-facto law minister, told Parliament last week that the Attorney-General’s Chambers decided against charging Ibrahim over his remark as he was defending the sanctity of Islam.
The authorities, however, are charging Abdullah Zaik Abd Rahman — the president of Islamist NGO Isma — under the Sedition Act 1948 for claiming that Malaysia’s ethnic Chinese are “intruders” who had colluded with the British colonialists to oppress and bully the Malays.
Zahid himself has recently come under police scrutiny over complaints by the opposition that he had allegedly made a racist statement during a speech on the Pengkalan Kubor by-election campaign trail last month.
Zahid had reportedly spoken of so-called divisions among the Malays during a ceramah in Pengkalan Kubor that day, characterising them as an Umno-PAS rivalry, and claiming that it has made Umno’s foes “big-headed” enough to question provisions in the Federal Constitution that safeguard Malay interests.
The Umno strongman later cited incidents surrounding the Perak constitutional crisis to back his claim that because the Malays were divided, the predominantly Chinese DAP opposition party were able to take advantage and pit the Malays against each other. https://my.news.yahoo.com/photos/no-action-malay-ngo-offering-reward-assault-teresa-photo-091200463.html