Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Umno Welcomes Lee Kuan Yew's Apology

Umno welcomed Singapore's founding father Lee Kuan Yew's apology for his recent remarks over the systematic marginalisation of the Chinese in Malaysia, but took him to task for provoking Malaysia's former premier Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad. Information chief Tan Sri Muhammad Muhammad Taib said it was not appropriate for Lee, who is the city state's Minister Mentor, to link the issue to the sour bilateral ties with Malaysia and Malaysian leaders, particularly Dr Mahathir.

""Lee's action in highlighting the decade of troubled relations with the former prime minister gives the impression that Malaysian leaders, Umno leaders and the Malays like to create problems. This is an insult, and the remarks should not have been made by a leader from a neighbouring country," said Muhammad in a statement, here Tuesday.

He described Lee's comments by dragging Dr Mahathir into the issue, as "fishing in troubled waters" based on the political climate in Malaysia. Lee, who is also Singapore's former prime minister should realise that the problems he faced was due to his own baseless allegations, said Muhammad.

He said Lee should withdraw his controversial statement and admit his mistakes, instead of saying sorry but yet continued his provocative attack on the former premier.

The Barisan Nasional Youth today also accepted Lee's apology for the discomfort caused by his comments about how Malaysia treated its Chinese community. BN Youth chief Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein said it was not easy for Lee to apologise. "We accept the apology, especially when it came from somebody who is very wise," he told reporters after chairing the movement's exco meeting, here.

Hishammuddin, who also Umno Youth chief and Minister of Education, said he was surprised by Lee's move in apologising as he did not expect Lee to do so. Malaysia had only sought clarification from Lee over his remarks and did not demand any apology from him.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi had written to Lee on Sept 25 seeking clarification over the latter's remarks that the attitude of Malaysia and Indonesia towards the republic was shaped by the way they treated their Chinese communities. Lee in his reply dated Sept 29, among others, said that he had no intention of meddling in Malaysian politics.

**** It is a good thing that Umno has accepted Mr Lee's apology. Like Hishamuddin I too was surprised that he had apologised. I suppose he must have taken into consideration the advice of the top leadership including that of his own son in coming to that decision. It is also very magnanimous of Umno to readily accept the apology and as Hishamuddin had said the PM had merely wanted a clarification.

It would be in the best interest of both sides to leave it at that and consider the matter settled. Let not some opportunistic ikan bilis tomorrow try to swim in deep and troubled waters by stirring up emotions and broaching the subject again with some added twists.

Interesting read: Surat Kuan Yew bukan minta maaf, kata Setiausaha Agung PAS


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the english of malaysian at large is gone down the drain. Did you see the word "apology" in LKY letter? He said he was "sorry" that his comment created the unwanted reaction. Pls read the annex attached together with the letter (most mainstream media did not publish this together with the letter).

8:24 PM GMT+8  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Arguing about using sorry or apology or maaf are all basically semantics.

10:03 PM GMT+8  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I personally feel that LKY didnot apologise for his statement that Chinese in M'sia & Indon are marginalised, because what he had said is a Truth. And he stand by what he had said. He even said that foreigners/expats living long enough in this region know the actual situation of the Chinese. So, why should he apologise?

He only said sorry or apologise for causing discomfort to the feelings of these UMNO fellers.
LKY is as cunning as ever. Only those fools (with their ego) will happily announce that LKY has apologised.

2:37 PM GMT+8  

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