Umno suspends Ahmad three years

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Umno suspends Ahmad three years Empty Umno suspends Ahmad three years

Post by Maya on Wed Sep 10, 2008 9:17 pm

KUALA LUMPUR: Umno has suspended Bukit Bendera division chief Datuk Ahmad Ismail three years over his alleged racist remarks about the Chinese.

The decision was reached at a special meeting of the Umno supreme council held at the PWTC Wednesday afternoon. Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi chaired the meeting that lasted almost three hours.

As a result of the suspension, Ahmad will be stripped of all party posts and voting rights. He will remain an ordinary member however.

Abdullah told a press conference after the meeting that the Cabinet at its meeting Wednesday also discussed racial relations in the country.

“The Cabinet feels that racial tension may arise if sensitive issues are raised. The Cabinet has ordered ministries with laws pertaining to this to enforce them.

“If it is necessary, the ISA may be used on those who stoke racial tension,” he added.

Abdullah also told Barisan Nasional component parties to be firm and take disciplinary action on their members, who also made statements that stoked racial sentiments.

The meeting was held after Barisan component parties said they wanted “immediate and stern action” to be taken against Ahmad during a meeting of the coalition’s supreme council on Tuesday afternoon.

However, because it involved a party matter, they left it to Umno to act.

After stopping 10 busloads of his supporters on their way to the Putra World Trade Centre where the supreme council meeting was held, Ahmad said he would not retract his statements, but urged his supporters and all Malays to remain calm.

At a press conference, he said he accepted Umno supreme council's decision to suspend him, but added he would "make a comeback."

He accused Gerakan acting president Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon of “raising temperatures” on the issue of race relations.

Dr Koh was one of the many leaders who had asked Ahmad to apologise to the Chinese community.

He also denied that he had torn down a picture of Dr Koh at a press conference on Monday.

The Prime Minister had said on Tuesday that the issue had caused uneasiness, worry and anger among the people.

“Some (component parties) expressed their disappointment over what transpired while some showed anger.

“All of us are of the view that Ahmad’s comments are not acceptable at all. What he said has caused anger and concern among the people, non-bumiputras and bumiputras alike, not just in the peninsula but also in Sabah and Sarawak,” Abdullah told reporters on Tuesday.

Ahmad stirred a hornet’s nest recently when he said in a speech while campaigning for the Permatang Pauh by-election that the Chinese were immigrants in the country and did not deserve equal treatment.

Despite criticisms from various community leaders, he refused to apologise.

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