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Saturday, September 6, 2008

Give Ahmad Ismail A Break, Will You?

I think we should leave Ahmad Ismail and his merry men to do what it is they do best; reinforce the choices voters made on March 8th when they decided to hand over Penang to the Pakatan Rakyat.

Look at it this way. Mustafa K Anuar’s incisive blog-post on the subject (“The Sorry state of apologies in Malaysia”) points to the possibility of more fuss than necessary being made over the issue to justify more aggressive action. This is a view that others share (see, for instance Malaysia Waves, "Ahmad Ismail Reciting Racial "Historical Fact", but for What?").

As we all know, there are those who fervently believe that there is great political opportunity and advantage in race and religion. The threat of racial unrest is a tried and tested method for the deployment of the Internal Security Act. It would appear, judging by Minister Syed Hamid’s comments in the media about the police reports lodged against Raja Petra by several Islamic agencies and departments, the authorities are already exploring the possibility of silencing the seemingly unstoppable Raja Petra on this basis (see “Syed Hamid: ISA can be used against Raja Petra"; Malaysiakini; 6 Sept 2008).

It would not be unreasonable to think that in as much as the Barisan Nasional, and in particular UMNO, may be publicly ridiculing the idea of the Pakatan Rakyat being in a position to form a government by September 16th, or at all for that matter, its less public view of the matter is one fraught with anxiety at the possibility, if not probability. The mind boggles at the possible impact of a new government, in particular on the personal interests of individuals whose actions may have been less than above board. The potential take over is as such no longer merely a matter of political survival for some. To them, it is a matter of survival, pure and simple.

All this points to the real possibility of a desire to take more extreme measures. Desperate times, after all, require desperate measures.

For this reason, it would be prudent to employ restraint in the way we react to the entire issue. That Ahmad Ismail was inelegant in the way he made his point and that he caused offence is beyond dispute. He did and if the media reported him correctly (and this seems to have been the case, why else would the Deputy Prime Minister offered an apology), what he said smacks of racism. But then, a lot of other people make these kinds of statements all the time. That Ahmad Ismail is someone senior in UMNO does not make his statement any more exceptional as the sentiment he expressed is of the kind that we have sadly come to expect from UMNO officials.

The fact that his statement has afforded a political opportunity to those in whose interests UMNO bashing lie should not make it exceptional as well. The bigger picture demands that we view it so and not distract ourselves from what needs to be done.

The objective is to democratize Malaysia. There is a stronger possibility of this happening if a new government is formed. Reactionary behaviour will allow the powers that be to set in place obstacles to that process by validating aggressive reprisal.

We do not want that. We do not need it.

And, after all, if Ahmad Ismail feels the need to throw his weight behind the transformation of Malaysia by making the Barisan Nasional that much more unattractive, should he not be getting our praise and gratitude? Give the guy a break.



Donplaypuks® said...

Yeah, I reckon yesterday's show of support & forces by the UMNO MP's in Penang vis-a-vis Ahmad Ismail has upped the ante and is calulated to provoke general unrest, as are Dr.M's ill-advised comments.

It's also a slap in the face for the PM, DPM, MCA & Geraka. Will MCA & Gerkan suffer the loss of face or do the unthinkable and leave?

So, let's leave Ahmad Ismail to himself. He's forgotten the damage Kerismudin & Zakaria Deros caused BN in GE 2008 and pay for it soon enough.
refer my blog 'The Sept 16th Chronicles' & 'Wine, How Divine.'

Greg Lopez said...

Well said Malik,

Important for all Malaysians to calm down. History has definitely taken a turn. Let us not allow this moment to be turned back by people such as Ahmad Ismail.

Let us be patient and await the opportune moment for the will of the people to truly manifest, democratically of course.

telur dua said...

Yes, this fellow is damn good 'advertisement' for UMNO. Malaysians now know who not to vote.

Terima kasih, Ahmad.

Anonymous said...

Hear! hear!

Now, you'd think it makes no sense to make such ethnically bigoted statements after losing the State (which is roughly over 50% nonMalay), and also Permatang Pauh (which is 70% Malay). The last thing you want to do is to alienate whatever support you have from the voters.

Either UMNO Penang is so arrogant, or they're hoping to escalate this into a race riot where they can seize power through Emergency rule.

Lets just sit back, enjoy watching the idiots in UMNO Penang humiliate themselves, and let Anwar do his work.

As for me, I believe I made the right choice when I 'X'-ed the Rocket in Klang.

Nostradamus said...

Anwarwood Productions - The Biggest Blockbuster Show on Earth!
(Anwarwood Produksi - Tayangan Paling Besar dan Hebat di Dunia!)

Beware! Politics is a game not for the faint hearted in Malaysia. Malaysians will have heart attacks when you see the end. Even if you don't, you will suffer a mild stroke or high blood pressure. Why? The Titanic 2 show this time directed and scriptwritten by Anwarwood Productions will continue with the following scenes:

1. Little Napoleons will continue with the phrase "The End Justifies The Means" in protecting their interests.
2. Some passengers will lose all sense of conscience and humanity when the ship is finally sinking.
3. Everyone in the ship will rush to get on the lifeboats.
4. Money is used to buy anything to safe oneself from impending doom.
5. The Best Actor and Supporting Casts together with Trojan Horses are finally shown at the end of the show.

Whatever the emotions left at the end of the show, please remember that it was just a show, just like what politics is all about. The reality of living together continues in this land.

(Versi Bahasa Melayu)

Awas! Politik bukan permainan untuk mereka yang berlemah hati di Malaysia. Rakyat Malaysia akan sakit jantung apabila melihat kesudahannya. Jika pun tidak, anda akan terkena strok atau darah tinggi. Kenapa? Tayangan Titanic 2 kali ini yang diarah dan diskripkan oleh Anwarwood Produksi akan bersambung dengan adegan-adegan berikut:

1. Little Napoleon akan meneruskan dengan ungkapan "Matalamat Menghalalkan Cara-Caranya" dalam mempertahankan kepentingan-kepentingan mereka.
2. Sebilangan penumpang-penumpang akan kehilangan kewarasan dan kemanusiaan apabila kapal sedang tenggelam.
3. Semua orang akan merebut-rebut naik bot-bot penyelamat.
4. Wang digunakan untuk membeli apa sahaja untuk menyelematkan diri daripada kehampaan yang akan menimpa.
5. Pelakon dan Pembantu-pembantu Seniman dan Seniwati Terbaik serta Kuda-kuda Trojan akhirnya dipertontonkan pada kesudahan tayangannya.

Jika adapun emosi yang tinggal pada akhir tayangan tersebut, harus ingat bahawa ia cuma sebuah tayangan sama seperti gelagat-gelagat politik. Realiti kehidupan bersama masih berterusan di tanah air ini.

Starmandala said...

Precisely my take on the whole silly affair. Thanks for putting it so succinctly, Imtiaz :-)

bexe said...

Ahmad Ismail represents a large faction of ultra Malays, particularly those who have dirty hands. To silence him or ask for an apology is tantamount to sweeping things under the carpet. It is a sentiment that is there and well and alive.Let us deal with it.
How do we do that? The tsunami of political change has done that for us. These who use the politics of racial fear have been uprooted and are standing there shakily. A following gust of wind will send them crashing down. So don't sweat this stuff.

Anonymous said...

"And, after all, if Ahmad Ismail feels the need to throw his weight behind the transformation of Malaysia by making the Barisan Nasional that much more unattractive, should he not be getting our praise and gratitude? Give the guy a break."
Beutifully stated.

tan, tanjong bungah said...

Hi everyone,

I agree with this post that this Ahmad Ismail fellow is using the racial card to elicit confrontation between the races. Let us not fall into the trap, don't rebutt racialism with more racialism.

In fact, be patient and avoid critising him hard, we should be thankful to him for confirming the rascist policies and thinking of his party. At the same time, he's doing us a favour by further confirming the impotence of the other BN component parties.

Let us answer them by turning up in full-force at the polls in the next GE. Get as many eligible people to register as voters and when the time comes they'll reap what they sow!

Hussin said...

Good suggestion MIS.

I strongly believe the main target of Ahmad's statements is the UMNO elections in December and not the Permatang Pauh by-election which everyone in BN know was a gone case. The reactions to his statement in recent days point to his strategy working to perfection. He is sure to win whatever post he is going to contest in December.

The other races are of no consequence to him since the general election will not be very soon and by that time all would have been forgotten.

Unknown said...

soalan kepada Ahmad Ismail

a. ada beberapa wartawan( bukan seorang sahaja) dengar ucapan racist anda. Najib juga di sana ( yang telah meminta maaf). Jadi, mis-intrepet?

b.Okaylah, kononnya mis-interpret and bayangkan semua orang ( termasuk Najib yg ada di sana)data meseg yang sama, Jadi, mungkinkah ucapan kamu yang mengelirukan semua pihak? Jika ya,anda juga bertanggungjawab and perlu minta maaf.

c. Jadi, pedatang ialah chinese sebelum Merdeka. Apa komen anda bagi non Malay yang lahir di Malaysia? Mereka berhak mendapat keadilan?

d. Apa gunanya kata-kata racist itu memandangkan chinese pendatang sebelum merdeka semuany bukan tua , ada yang sudah meninggal. Jadi, kata kata itu tuju kepada siapa? kepada chinese selepas merdeka hari ini yang mereka tak boleh dapat keadilan kerana nenek moyang yang pedatang? Anda boleh jelaskan inikah?

e. Mengapa suruh pemberita minta maaf kepada muslim and malay sedangkan ini ialah antara pemberita and peribadi anda. Saya tidak nampak pun pemberita merasut islam atau Malay. Atau anda hanya mempergunakan Malay and Islam sebagai alat anda untuk peribadi agenda?

evan Almighty said...

True, True ..It soon will be paid by our votes in our next general election. By the way, is Ahmad Ismail the Mole of Pakatan Rakyat in UMNO???..Anyway, thanks to Ahmad...WE SUPPORT DSAI as PM & RPK as DPM!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I couldnt agree with the author more. let us not play into the hands of Ahmad Ismail. I know that Malays and non-malays alike do not subscribe to this bigot's views, as shown in the Permatang Pauh by-election and recent general election.

lets not make things get out of hand. We'll deny this racist what he really wants.

Anonymous said...

Siapa Cepat Dia Dapat: Hari Ini Dalam Sejarah

saya sebetulnya mahu bertanya kepada cikgu ahmad ismail sejarawan terulung kita itu satu soalan - tentang kedudukan identiti keluarga saya sebelum merdeka. jika benar orang cina sebelum merdeka adalah pendatang, bagaimana jika nenek saya sebelah bapa dulu itu datang ke malaya dari pekanbaru, riau, sumatra pada tahun 1935? kemudian moyang saya sebelah bapa berasal dari palu, sulawesi, tetapi awal sedikit, sekitar 1920an. menumpang juga ke mereka dulu itu? kenapa cikgu ahmad dalam kelas sejarah hari itu tidak pula mengupas dengan lebih lanjut tentang pendatang-pendatang seperti ini? sebab sekarang saya sudah berasa malu dengan teman baik saya - moyang-moyang kepada moyang-moyang seorang teman baik saya ini penumpang juga cikgu, tetapi awal lagi - kurang lebih dalam 1800an. bekerja sebagai kuli di pulau pinang. teruk miskin dan susah betul hidup mereka. ditipu orang tengah dan agen kapal. tetapi keluarga ini tidak pernah terfikir mahu pulang ke mana pun asal mereka, sebab mereka betul sayangkan pulau pinang, sayangkan malaya. sejarah itu lama cikgu, mungkin sebab itu cikgu juga mudah lupa.

Anonymous said...

I fully agree this whole racial and religious tone got to take a break. But I don't think its necessary to give Ahmad Ismail a break.

Lim Kit Siang is pointing the way how this thing can be taken the next step - the implication is now the desperation of the PM to support these people.

The other thing is that you can go after these people without taking on the racial and religious tone.

Ahmad Ismail is a bigot, a hypocrite, a liar and more important careless. He is in this for himself as he could not care less about what it means to the PM and DPM. This guy literally has 'corrupted' stamp on his forehead. Find dirt on this guy and he is burried along with the racism he brings...

Anonymous said...

I do agree that we should leave this guy to do whatever he wants, trading verbal wars on this issue might eventually turn this into an even uglier issue. I am wondering if the politicians playing up on this issue are really concern or just to gain political mileage.

There are many more in the same vein as Ahmad Ismail and equally if not more Malaysians of all ethnic backgrounds who disagree on racial issues.

In normal circumstances I would have disagree on the MP's crossing the fence, but desperate times needs desperate measures. And the only option left now is to appeal to those MP's, who took an oath to serve the country and people, to make the right move and form a new government,to once and for all put an end to what possibly could evolve to an explosive situation, going by current events unfolding in Malaysia. I do not know if a change of government will fare better but I do know that the present one is unable to handle the situation, and in fact taking desperate measures to keep a hold on power at the expense of the stability of the nation. For this, I am willing to take a risk and give a chance to the new government, so for all you right-thinking MP's, do the right thing and save your nation from disaster.

Anonymous said...


Dear Leaders of BN component parties,

Why hit out at Ahmad Ismail?

What he said was merely a very mild repetition of what tens of thousands of civil servants, especialy school teachers, were being indoctrinated during sessions organized by Biro Tatanegara.

You need evidence? Please interview those trainees who were victimized by all sorts of abusive racial remarks inflicted by non other than our Biro Tatanegara. Most of them left the typical 5 days training session with broken hearts and eyes full of tears.

By the way, when I went to UM in 1979, the first thing I was told during orientation was that I am from Kaum Pendatang, a term I heard for the first time then. During the first lecture in Political Science, we were being lectured on the term Kaum Pendatang. To my horror, the lecturer was later to be conferred decorative titles and even became the head of Dewan Bahasa Dan Pustaka.

I struggled and worked hard both in Malaysia and abroad, pay my taxes to our government, and our government uses our taxes to fund a destructive institution called Biro Tatanegara to train our teachers, among others, to remind my children that they are from Kaum Pendatang.

Dear Leaders of BN component parties, no point attacking Ahmad Ismail, instead, do look at Biro Tatanegara established by the support from you yourselves.

Many years ago, in the mid 70s, there was this very bright boy from my community around Brickfields who scored full distinctions in his MCE (Cambridge O level) in La Salle Brickfields. He went on to score full distinctions in his HSC (Cambridge A level) in Victoria Institution.

During his interview for a government scholarship, he was asked by the interviewer to sing the national anthem to prove his loyalty to the country. With tears in his eyes he took offence to such doubt over his loyalty and walked out on the spot.

Later on he was offered a scholarship by the Singapore Government under the Colombo Plan to study in New Zealand from where he then graduated as an engineer. He went on to serve the Singapore Government and became a distinguished faculty member of NUS, till today.

The sad part of this story is that from the day he left Malaysia, he vowed never to return to this land where his loyalty could be unfairly questioned just because of his race. True to his word, he has never returned and his poor elderly parents had to travel to Singapore to see their grandchildren.

That’s the story about the bitter experience of a mild mannered top scholar in the mid seventies who would not tolerate racial slurs. Today, we are talking about the denial of citizenry rights according to race EN MASSE be it during political ceramah or, more damagingly, during Biro Tatanegara sessions organized for civil servants, such as teachers, researchers or even returning doctors who wish to serve our Jabatan Perkhidmatan Awam.

Now, is Ahmad Ismail guilty of racial slur or the whole BN government is guilty of such slur? More importantly, can such racial slur be remedied by apology or by sincere repentance, leading to a courageous change for a better Malaysia?

Anonymous said...

He is too stressed out now. Just leave him alone. His heart might not hold the extreme pressure he is experiencing. Or he will turn his anger towards his family members. people too arrogant will cause more damage to others, too emotional! Let him cool down and maybe he will apologies when he become rational.

Old Fart said...

I agree that this guy should be given a break. After all he was only saying what the officers of Biro Tata Negara (BTR) have been inducting our children with at the universities, or when they get their JPN scholarships and I suppose at the National Service Programs.

What is unusual though at this time is the deluge of threats, warnings, complaints and police reports made by MCA, Gerakan and DAP. At tleast DAP has had some experience making such reports.

What is also unusual is UMNO making that apology.

So what is it then? UMNO is weak, so it makes an apology?

MCA and Gerakan are bold now that UMNO is weak and so they are now brave enough to make the noise they are making?

Indeed it is not the bloggers or the alternative media which is making a mountain out of a mole hill here. It is the BN component parties who now may be seen to be taking advantage of a perceived weakness of UMNO and its leaders.

Unknown said...

The Scenario in Malaysia now is no different from being at "The Coliseum in Roman Times". We the Rakyat as do the Romans need only to decide to send a Participant to destruction by merely pointing our thumb down.....

This is Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's contribution to the country...Entertainment for the Malaysian Rakyat...

In Fact, as Emperor he himself often went to the point of showing his thumb hoping to influence our decision..In the case of Ahmad, it was Thumbs Down...Its now up to the rakyat to ravage the guy.

Ahmad and his bunch of upstart gladiators will face their fate!!

Donplaypuks® said...

I can't resist writing in that I was gobsmacked when the PM bought that horse-drivel from AI (any intelligence?) that racist remarks can be justified by virtue of historical fact. Cleverly & cunningly, what is historical fact is not defined!

Does that mean we can now resurrect Hitler & Enoch Powell as men of great fore-sight and practitioners of humanitarianism? And of course, the Holocaust did not occur and (thank God), my mother-in-law was kidnapped by aliens!

-lte- said...

Hi Malik,

Just would like you to know that the link to 'Haris Ibrahim' at the side of your blog is broken. It directs people to other advertising website instead.


Unknown said...

Quite right. The snivelling side show deserves at best a quick derisive glance. The main event is what we must all train our eyes,heart, spirit,prayers and will, on. Let the Ahmads of this world self dissipate in the bigger scheme of things. Thanks Malik Imtiaz for jogging our minds back to what is important.

Anonymous said...

Let us all be aware that it could all be a ploy between the BN coalition to create such chaos. It has been widespread before this event that UMNO had always used racial sentiment to win the hearts of the voters. Why now the coalition is making more noise than ever? I agree with the author, and this is exactly what BN wants. This will boils more blood and would make the country in the state of unrest.

I don't buy it one bit for the coalition to show how they are trying to protect their own kind. This has nothing to do with the people of Malaysia. This is a strategy to derail any other plans made by the opposition. Lame to say the least.

I am by no means support any political party, but to use such tactic to create squabbles in the country is beyond dirty. It is the lowest trick and hope people of Malaysia is smart enough to see through their dirty tactics.

The opposition leaders should be aware of this, if they played into BN's hands, they are not fit to play in this game. Hence they are not fit to make government for now.

Nostradamus said...

A Tribute to RPK For Your Dreams. (Suatu Penghormatan kepada RPK atas Impian Mu)

The latest news about RPK in Malaysiakini and Malaysia Today, that he would be detained under the ISA have moved me to dedicate this speech by one of the great Freedom Fighters in the world, Martin Luther King Jr. " I Have a Dream" to him.

(Berita terbaru tentang RPK di Malaysiakini dan Malaysia Today, bahawa beliau akan ditahan dibawah ISA telah mengharukan hati saya untuk mendedikasikan ucapan oleh seorang Pejuang Kebebasan Dunia, Martin Luther King Jr. bertajuk "Saya ada Impian" kepada beliau.)

Let us reminiscent over it at

(Marilah kita mengenangkan tentangnya di )

Anonymous said...

Ahmad Ismail & Ali Rustam comes from the same planet called "hell". They are only "jaguh kampung" who can talk big on politics but can't get things done. When are these 2 donkeys would ever apologize. Didn't Quran tells us to be apologetic when mistakes are made. BTW, if the chinese and indian are pendatang, then where did the malay come from. They are also pendatang. The only people who are not pendatang is the natives from semanjung , sabah & sarawak.

Anonymous said...

Goo suggestion Malik, so I say

"Go break a leg, or two Ahmad"

- Anarky :D

e n g said...

Yes i do agree to give that a*s a beak.

What worries me is that he has a big backing from his division and i wonder if these are the malays that would run amok responding to the calling of fresh may13 (if that crap ever happen again) !!

Anonymous said...

We should be wiser from the experience of a recent past and not play into the hands of those sore losers.

Good article MIS.

Old Fart said...

After his calls to Malays and Muslims yesterday and his antics and that of his supporters, I think he might have earned himself the right to have his leg broken maybe!!

Anonymous said...

i think the ACA should check on this ahmad guy who could afford a bungalow with a swimming pool on the island itself. He must be very wealthy.Perhaps, this racism thingy is just to divert us from the real problem