It is rare for politicians to apologise over election campaign speeches -but now there is one. Good points: it raise standard of debate and mark points of agreements among the parties to not stoop too low to get votes; it also shows politics is responding to people’s sensiblity. Bad points: the apology did not come from the utterer of the racial remarks-party leader took upon themselves to apologise on behalf of the offender; it is also bad that the apology was not made face-to-face to the offended party/ies eg in the presence of offended community representatives.
KUALA LUMPUR(Bernama): 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.
Rare but welcomed apology by UMNO over racial remark
02/09/2008 by democracy4now