Race and the politically insignificant

When asked recently by reporters of what he thought of the lifting of the suspension of the Penang UMNO stalwart Ismail Ahmad from the dominant party in the BN coalition, Gerakan chief Dr Koh Tsu Koon dismissed it as something insignificant.

Lest we forget, Ismail’s membership in UMNO was suspended for three years because he uttered a racist remark during a by-election campaign rally last year. His reinstatement was made without him having to go through the full course of the suspension.

Now, if racism — which seems to have reared its ugly head quite regularly these days — is a belief or ideology that is dangerous and cancerous to society, then what can we make of this early reinstatement?

Even more serious, what can we say of Koh’s retort that the reinstatement was insignificant?

Doesn’t it disturb Koh the fact that racist remarks and racism are abominable especially in a multiethnic and multicultural society, especially one that susposedly prides itself as ‘truly Asia’?

This question is posed to Koh not only because he is Chinese by ethnicity or that the remark made by Ismail was a smear to the Chinese community as a whole.

It is because racism and racist remarks should be condemned by any right thinking human being on planet Earth. To be sure, racism has no place in a civilised world and the realm of spirituality.

In this regard, I am always reminded of the following verse in the holy Qur’an, which is self-explanatory:

“O mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that ye may know each other (not that ye may despise each other). Verily the most honoured of you in the sight of Allah is (he who is) the most righteous of you. And Allah has full knowledge and is well acquainted (with all things).” (Surah 49:13)

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1 Response to “Race and the politically insignificant”


  1. 1 StevenO 12 December 2009 at 7:16 pm

    Yeah, why posed such insignificant question to KTK. Should asked him why had he not apologised to Ismail Ahmad yet!!!

    Koh Tsu Koon/eunuch! Why haven’t say sorry to Ismail Ahmad? Don’t forget to bring your whole family along.


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