Saturday, December 22, 2007

SUNDAY-23RD DECEMBER 2007-Umno riled up over remark

Umno riled up over remark •Gerakan told to explain remark about Umno bashing others • MIC pooh-poohs claim Indians running to the Opposition
MACHANG: Umno Youth Chief Datuk Seri Hisahmuddin Tun Hussein is hoping Gerakan’s leadership will explain a racially sensitive remark allegedly made by Gerakan Youth Vice-Chief S Paranjothy that Umno was fond of bashing other BN component parties. Hishamuddin said he regretted that such a remark was made as Gerakan being a component of the BN, should ensure all its members understand that in the 50 years Malaysia has been independent, the country had been able to develop peacefully with all the various races progressing together. Paranjothy is alleged to have issued a press statement on Friday claiming that he was not happy with Umno and the way Indians in the country were being treated. In it, he is also alleged to have claimed that Umno was fond of bashing other component parties in the BN to remain popular with the Malays so that it could hold on to power. Hishammuddin, who had opened an Aidiladha celebration here yesterday, was asked by reporters for his comments on the alleged remarks by Paranjothy. “The BN leadership views this matter seriously and it must be explained clearly so that everyone in the coalition right up to the grass root level understands Gerakan’s position,” he said, adding that Umno Youth would make its stance known should a good explanation not be forthcoming from Gerakan. MIC Deputy President Datuk G Palanivel meanwhile said yesterday hardcore BN Indian voters would not run to the Opposition,
“This will not happen,” he said when asked to comment on suggestions by Opposition Leader Lim Kit Siang that there has been a political awakening Indian voters in the country recently. The Opposition is only referring to the voice of a splinter group, said Palanivel, who is also Deputy Minister of Women, Family and Community Development. “The ground situation, especially during a general election, would be such that our voters will evaluate the volumes of work the MIC has done under the leadership of Datuk Sen S Samy Vellu. “Loyalty is not a one-way process. It’s a two-way process. BN voters will remain loyal to us because we have served our constituencies and have cultivated our relationship with our people,” he said. He said BN elected representatives must continue to work hard in their constituencies and keep their voters informed of the Opposition’s ploy to fish in troubled waters. The majority of the Indian voters, he stressed, knew that voting for the Opposition would not be a solution to some of their unresolved woes. MIC Youth Chief S AVigneswaran said the Indian community must realise that the activities of the group behind the illegal assemblies in the Federal Capital last month had allowed the opposition to take advantage of the situation. He said this was among the negative effects of the group’s activities where the opposition had exploited the situation by causing confusion among the Indians, in its attempt to fish for votes in the coming general election. In light of this, he said, the MIC Youth could not keep silent but would be more proactive in controlling the situation. Vigineswaran, who is also Parliamentary Secretary to the Youth and Sports Ministry, called on all the divisional MIC Youth leaders to go to the ground. “They must study the unsolved problems of the Indian community and hold discussions with Indian groups in their respective areas.” “I want a more aggressive and effective network of cooperation in the MIC Youth,” he told reporters. - Bernama