It’s not often you get an apology from Najib, much less over racial remarks. But why isn’t Ahmad apologising? The next Supreme Council meeting will discuss what “appropriate action” to take against him. Don’t hold your breath. Anyway, this fiasco is not going to improve public support for the BN, is it?
Reading between the lines, the devastating impact on BN component parties must have been serious enough for Najib to come out and apologise.
This report from Bernama reproduced in The Star:
KUALA LUMPUR: Umno, the backbone of the ruling Barisan Nasional government, has issued a public apology over a remark made by Bukit Bendera Umno division head Datuk Ahmad Ismail during the Permatang Pauh parliamentary by-election last month.
“We hope that the non-Malays will not be too disturbed with the statement and we apologise if it has incurred the sensitivities or unhappiness over the statement.
“We apologise, Umno apologises although it is not our statement but it is a statement made by one of our division leaders. It is totally unwarranted and does not reflect the position and the attitude of Umno or the leadership of Umno. We regret it very much,” Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, who is also Umno deputy president, said here on Tuesday.
In the run-up to the Permatang Pauh by-election, Ahmad had said at a ceramah that the Chinese community were mere “immigrants” in the country and thus were not entitled to be given equal rights in Malaysia.
Contrast that with this article from Malaysian Insider and you will understand why the BN has lost so much support, even if some Malaysians may not really like Anwar:
AUG 29 — As the Permatang Pauh by-election fades into the recesses of our memories, there is talk of it being a turning point in our country’s history. Unfortunately, this talk habitually and routinely focuses on the possibility of changing the government by Sept 16.
It ignores a simple reality: Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has already made history by being the first Malay politician to ever actually win more political support through an explicitly non-racial platform. It is practically impossible to underestimate how Anwar bucked the trend; he has completely turned our understanding of politics in this country on its head.
History has already made it crystal-clear; Malay politicians who try to unite the country by appealing to a common sense of Malaysian-ness inevitably wind up heading into political oblivion. Dato Onn Ja’afar’s political career went up in flames the moment he founded the first multiracial political party in the country, in spite of it having every conceivable advantage — it was literally the incumbent party of the time because of Onn’s towering status in Malayan politics. And it, of course, foundered completely.