Nov 22, 2006

Motion to debate Umno’s seditious speeches rejected

(The Sun) KUALA LUMPUR (Nov 21, 2006): Parliament today rejected an Opposition emergency motion to debate the just-concluded Umno and Umno Youth annual general assemblies where some speeches were said to be insensitive, provocative and seditious in nature.

Speaker Tan Sri Ramli Ngah Talib said the motion, filed under Standing Order 18(1) by Opposition Leader Lim Kit Siang (DAP-Ipoh Timur), though specific and of public interest, “was nevertheless not urgent in nature”.

“This is because the Umno president, in his winding-up speech, had stressed the government’s policy of power sharing among all the communities in the country. All the races and communities have their rights (enshrined) under the (federal) Constitution and the country will be governed in a fair and just manner.”

Earlier, Lim in tabling his motion said though Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi had raised concerns that polemics on racial and religious issues had reached a worrying stage, the Umno AGM manifested itself on negative and destructive racial and religious issues. He added that the move by the Umno Youth chief to wield the keris Panca Warisan for the second consecutive year was further compounded by an Umno delegate who asked when the keris would be used to stab.

Lim also said Umno continued to harp on the spectre of May 13 when a delegate said Umno was willing to sacrifice and bathe in blood, another saying the Malays will go amok and yet another saying that Kuala Lumpur will become a battlefield.

Later, at a press conference, Lim called on the Attorney-General to prosecute under the Sedition Law without fear or favour Umno leaders for raising such issues.

Lim also questioned Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak’s statement that the speakers were inexperienced and others may have been carried away in their debates.

“Is Najib suggesting that it would be all right if the insensitive, extremist, incendiary and seditious speeches are done behind closed door instead of being carried live over Astro’s Channel 94?” Lim asked.

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