Chinese feel as if they are not citizens of this country. That is what George Chan, the president of Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) said. SUPP is a component party of BN Sarawak. George Chan said that in criticism to the inappropriate labelling of Chinese as immigrants by Bukit Bendara Umno division head, Datuk Ahmad Ismail, during the recent Permatang Pauh by-election campaign.

From TheBorneoPost

SUPP rejects ‘Chinese immigrant’ label

By Philip Kiew

MIRI: Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) does not want Chinese Malaysians to continue being labelled as immigrants, saying it is bad for racial harmony and disrespectful of their citizenship and rights in this country.

The party’s president Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Dr George Chan yesterday said it was a paradox to the modern trend of immigrants of the past who have become citizens and contributed towards the nation.

“The label makes the Chinese feel as if they are not citizens of this country,” said Dr Chan yesterday.

“On the other hand, in the United States, African-Americans are not considered aliens, and now one of them may even become president,” he said, referring to the Democratic Party’s presidential candidate Barrack Obama who has taken America by storm.

Dr Chan said this when asked to comment on the labelling of Chinese as immigrants by Bukit Bendara Umno division head, Datuk Ahmad Ismail, during the Permatang Pauh by-election campaign.

“He claimed he was misquoted, but if it was true, then it would be very bad for racial unity,” he said.

Following calls to apologise for his remarks, Ahmad blamed the press, saying he was not being racist but was only quoting history in one of his speeches.

Barisan Nasional (BN) component parties hit out at him for his refusal to apologise and for what they construed as arrogance.

Gerakan acting president Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon said Ahmad’s refusal to apologise showed that he failed to toe his party line and respect the Umno-BN ties.

On the apology of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and his deputy Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak pertaining to the matter, Dr Koh who earlier on opened Kelantan Gerakan annual convention, said his party appreciated it.

MCA was also stung by the remark and Kelantan MCA head Datuk Dr Ng Yen Yen said the state MCA had written a letter to the prime minister, stating that Ahmad’s remarks had angered them.

They wanted disciplinary action to be taken against him.

Deputy Education Minister Dr Wee Ka Siong said the ball was now in Ahmad’s court and it was up to him to ’salvage’ the situation.

MCA vice-president Datuk Ong Tee Kiat who is also Transport Minister, said Ahmad was not above the law and it was up to the party’s top officials to decide whether or not to take disciplinary action against him

“We do not like to force things. Since his remark goes against the deputy prime minister’s stand, then it is an internal issue to be dealt with by Umno,” he said.

Ong said that it was up to Ahmad if he wanted to continue to be “hard-headed” and unapologetic, but that did not mean he was free from the law.

DAP adviser, Lim Kit Siang, said Ahmad’s refusal to apologise had ‘repudiated” the earlier reply and apology from Najib.

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