Wednesday, December 26, 2007

ZAM: Ignore Irrational Narrow minded Bigots in BN Parties; Hishammuddin: Trying to Untruth Allegations;PM Abdullah: Avoid extremist tendencies

Malaysiakini has the earlier Spat between Gerakan and UMNO over some Remarks and the latest PM warns about religious extremism. PM Abdullah warned Malaysians to be on their guard against religious extremists tearing apart the multiracial nation which suffered deadly race riots in 1969.

= == == = == = = == = =December 25, 2007 17:20 PM

Paranjothy's Remarks Of Little Importance, Says Zam

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 25 (Bernama) -- Information Minister Datuk Seri Zainuddin Maidin said today the people should give little importance to the remarks by Gerakan Youth vice-chief S. Paranjothy because there were more people with a rational mind in the Barisan Nasional (BN) component party who could make themselves heard above him. He said the leadership of every BN component party was always sensitive of those whose actions and words went beyond the confines of the BN principles and tradition. "When there exist such people, the party leadership itself realises the danger of their action and they are seen by the party as undesirable. "This has happened in all parties and every party leader who gives importance to BN principles will act to weed out those regarded as a threat to party solidarity and unity of the Malaysian people," he said in a statement.
He was commenting on Paranjothy's racially sensitive remarks against Umno which has resulted in Gerakan initiating disciplinary action against its Youth vice-chief. Zainuddin said that in matters such as these, Umno itself had taken similar disciplinary action since the time when the party was under the leadership of the late Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj, the country's first prime minister. "In Umno itself, there have been voices which sought to have MCA dismissed from the then
Alliance for the massive defeat it suffered in the 1969 general election.

"Nevertheless, more evidently, Umno leaders are prepared to condemn and act against extremist groups within the party to the extent of becoming unpopular in the party. This may happen less in the other component parties," he said. The minister said this had happened not only during the time of Tunku Abdul Rahman and Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad but it continues to happen even now, for example the tolerance shown by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi which was, at times, disliked by some Umno members. "In fact, the BN has the strength to stand by its principles and not be swayed by racial pressure in any situation because of importance to the BN is the interests of all the component parties and not just of the respective parties," he said.

December 25, 2007 19:43 PM

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Prevent Extremist Tendencies From Taking Root - Abdullah

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 25 (Bernama) -- Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi Sunday reminded Malaysians not to allow extremist tendencies to take root and undermine interracial harmony in the country. The prime minister said the moderates should play a role in ensuring that members of the public were not swayed by extremist propaganda which played on people's emotions by raising sensitive religious and racial issues. "I'm really concerned when issues involving religion are brought up from time to time and the attendant problems that all of us would need to address. "If moderates don't take centre stage, surely extremist elements will occupy it, making us fall for their extremist approach being touted as a religious or national approach," he said. Abdullah said this at a Christmas tea party organised by the Christian Federation of Malaysia (CFM) and Kuala Lumpur Archbishop Datuk Murphy Pakiam here. The event was attended by about 200 guests, including Abdullah's wife Datin Seri Jeanne Abdullah, Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting, Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek, Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Dr Ng Yen Yen and Deputy Higher Education Minister Datuk Ong Tee Keat. In his speech, Abdullah said bigger problems would crop up if unscrupulous people continued to peddle their extremist views. The prime minister said to deal with the issue, Malaysians should manifest a high level of understanding, tolerance and respect for each other which have been the hallmarks of the multiethnic Malaysian society all this while. "We do have a big responsibility to shoulder as we need to ensure that our country remains safe and peaceful for our own mutual benefit," he said. Abdullah said as a multiracial country, Malaysia had come a long way to be where it was now -- a nation capable of bringing progress, peace and stability to its people, thanks to the sacrifices of all the races. However, he said, there was a need for the people to maintain what had been achieved thus far so that the country's development, peace and stability could be inherited by future generations. On the tea reception, Abdullah described the muhibbah (unity) spirit shown by people of various ethnic backgrounds, who came together to join in the Christmas celebrations, as a potent symbol of friendship that should be preserved. Meanwhile, Archbishop Pakiam was thankful that the government had always respected everyone's religious festivals and holidays. He said this sort of camaraderie among the races was the very basis of Malaysia's nation-building. The harmonious relationship among Malaysians has always been inspiring, he said. Archbishop Pakiam said Malaysians should downplay divisive issues and instead cherish their differences as something special.

= == =Background SPAT between Gerakan/UMNO over Paranjothy remarks

= = = and who is telling the truth? As there is NO absolute

2007/12/24; NST

Umno Youth to counter allegations

MARAN: Umno Youth will answer all allegations made by Gerakan Youth vice-chief S. Paranjothy against Umno and its leaders, Youth chief Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said. He said Paranjothy's accusations were serious and aimed at Umno leaders, including himself and his deputy, Khairy Jamaluddin. "He claimed that he was telling the truth but that was not the case," he said when asked to comment on the issue. Gerakan president Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon on Sunday said disciplinary action would be taken against Paranjothy for his statement which had hurt Umno members. Asked whether Paranjothy's party membership should be suspended, Hishammuddin, who is Barisan Nasional Youth chairman, said the matter should be handled by Gerakan leaders. "It's Gerakan's right to make such a decision. They themselves have said that Paranjothy's allegations are baseless." Hishammuddin said the opposition, including Parti Keadilan Rakyat adviser Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, was already taking advantage of the issue. "He's been campaigning that he will rebuild all demolished Hindu temples and develop the Indian community. "Those who listen to his ceramah should ask him how many temples and Tamil schools he had helped build when he was deputy prime minister and education minister."

= == = == = ==

December 24, 2007 21:54 PM

Hishammuddin Welcomes Action Against Paranjothy

MARAN, Dec 24 (Bernama) -- Umno Youth chief Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein has welcomed the move by Gerakan to initiate disciplinary action against its National Youth vice-chairman S. Paranjothy over his racially sensitive remarks against Umno. Hishammuddin said this reflected Gerakan's stand and the Barisan Nasional (BN) spirit in dealing with the issue. "That's the stand of the leadership of a BN component party when something that should not have happened did happen," he told reporters after visiting several schools here today. On his statement that Umno Youth may consider severing ties with Gerakan if the movement was dissatisfied with the explanation over Paranjothy's remarks,

Hishammuddin said it was not a threat against anyone. "It was not a threat, I was merely stating the facts. I've never threatened anyone when it comes to matters involving the truth or the party," he said. According to Hishammuddin, he did not intend to turn the issue into a racial polemic as he was merely concerned with addressing false accusations levelled against the leadership of Umno Youth and Umno itself. To a question, he said it was not for him to say whether or not Paranjothy should remain in Gerakan or the BN. "That's not my prerogative. If he were an Umno Youth member, I would have sacked him," he said.

= == = =

December 23, 2007 17:02 PM

Gerakan Moves To Act Against Paranjothy Over Sensitive Remarks

PENANG, Dec 23 (Bernama) -- Gerakan has initiated disciplinary action against its Youth vice-chief S. Paranjothy over his racially sensitive remarks against Umno. Gerakan acting president Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon said Sunday the party viewed the matter seriously and that the case has been referred to the Disciplinary Committee for a decision on the action to be taken before it was to be brought to the party's Central Working Committee (CWC). He said the action against Paranjothy could be in the form of a suspension or explusion from the party. "We will abide by the party's procedure before deciding on the form of action to be taken," he told a news conference at the Gerakan state head office here. Paranjothy is alleged to have issued a press statement claiming that he was not happy with Umno and the way Indians in the country were being treated.

Koh said Paranjothy had disregarded the team spirit in Gerakan because as the party's Youth vice-chief he should have consulted other party leaders before making a major statement. "His action is clearly contrary to my advice for Gerakan to always find constructive solutions to all problems, no matter how difficult, including matters related to the problems faced by the Indians," he added. He regarded as inappropriate Paranjothy's open verbal "attack" of another BN component party. Koh described as inapt a comment by Hishammuddin that Umno Youth would sever ties with Gerakan if the movement was dissatisfied with the explanation over Paranjothy's remarks because he said Paranjothy was only a young leader. He said Hishammuddin, as the Umno Youth chief, can reprimand and criticise Paranjothy or Gerakan Youth or seek an explanation from him (Koh) as the Gerakan leader but threatening to cut off relations with the party was inappropriate.

= == = == =
Gerakan to act against youth leader for criticising Umno, govt

Opalyn Mok; theSUN

PENANG (Dec 23, 2007): Disciplinary action has been initiated against Gerakan youth vice chief S. Paranjothy over a statement criticising Umno and the government, titled “Discrimination from womb to tomb”, which appeared in a website over the weekend. Gerakan acting president Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon said Paranjothy’s statement in malaysiakini was ‘‘highly exaggerated” and could raise negative sentiments and create dissent. “His statement that the Indian ethnic group are like fourth-class citizens will only serve to raise even more dissent and dissatisfaction among the public,” said Koh. He said Paranjothy’s action in releasing such a statement was not in line with Gerakan’s team spirit to always take a consultative and positive front. “It is important for Gerakan leaders to take the positive and moderate approach in solving any issue or problem,” Koh said. ‘‘He can criticise government policy but it should be done in a positive manner. It is not right of him to openly attack a Barisan Nasional component party using hurtful words and even raising issues that have been resolved.”

The case has been referred to the party’s disciplinary committee, which will decide on the action to be taken. The decision will be forwarded to the central working committee for further action. Paranjothy faces being suspended or stripped of his position. Koh, who called a press conference at the Gerakan headquarters to announce that disciplinary action was being taken against Paranjothy, also voiced his disappointment over Umno Youth chief Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein’s ‘‘over-reaction” to the statement. “I am taken aback and disappointed over Hishammuddin’s response in his threat that Umno Youth will sever all relations with Gerakan,” he said. “It is not right for him say that Umno Youth and Barisan Nasional want to sever all relationships with the whole party because of a single statement by one Gerakan youth leader. This emotional outburst is not right and it is an over-reaction for him to say that.”

Koh also clarified that the disciplinary action to be taken against Paranjothy is not because of demands from Umno Youth but because of the party’s stand to act against all its leaders and members who breached discipline. On Friday, Paranjothy released a statement to malaysiakini pointing the finger at Umno for raising racial sentiments among the Malays to gain political mileage. He alleged that Hishammuddin’s keris-waving and his deputy Khairy Jamaluddin’s claim that non-Malays would take advantage of a weak Umno leadership were prime examples of racial posturing. Hishammuddin responded on Saturday by demanding an explanation from Koh. “If the explanation given is not satisfactory, we are prepared to sever all relations with Gerakan. This is no laughing matter,” Hishammuddin reportedly said.

Commenting on former finance minister Tun Daim Zainuddin’s statement that Penang was one of three ‘hotspot’ states during the general election, Koh said this was nothing new. ‘‘Penang has always been a ‘hotspot’ state in every election since the 1970s during Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu’s time,” he said. He said Penang faced challenges in each general election. “That’s why we are always prepared and careful when facing the general election.” Daim was reported to have said in an interview with China Press the government needed to give priority to solving any issue in the three 'hotspots' states – Penang, Selangor and Kedah – before the next general election.

Updated: 10:47PM Sun, 23 Dec 2007


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