Ahmad: Tsu Koon a "great liar"

Posted by Penarik Beca Saturday, September 6, 2008

Penang opposition leader: Reporter should be shot
Malaysian Insider (5/9/08): Penang opposition leader Datuk Azhar Ibrahim, who was at the press conference to show support for Bukit Bendera Umno head Datuk Ahmad Ismail, criticised the reporter from the Chinese newspaper who allegedly twisted Ahmad's words during the Permatang Pauh by-election campaign.

However, the state Umno secretary did not name the reporter but claimed that only one Chinese publication reported Ahmad's statement.

"What was written may lead to a racial riot. If such a thing happens, he is the first person that should be shot," he said to loud cheers from Umno supporters who packed the meeting room at Menara Umno here.

Azhar also called on the police to investigate the reporter to find out the truth.

"This issue was blown out of proportion just because of one idiotic reporter. Why should anyone believe him... did he ask Datuk Ahmad for an explanation," he said.

"Did he just write or record the speech? If there is a recording, he should show it to us... this is not a small matter," said the Penaga state assemblyman.

Journalists who were present at the press conference expressed shock with Azhar's comment but vowed not to be intimidated.

"It is a form of intimidation, but the threat will not change the way I do my work," said Low Chia Ming of Malaysiakini's Chinese edition.

Kwong Wah's Ang Yee Shuan also agreed. "I wasn't there at the rally, but I am sure there were other media representatives who can back the report," she told The Malaysian Insider.

Only Chinese newspapers reported Ahmad's remark at the rally on Aug 23 in Kampung Pelet near Bukit Mertajam.

Earlier, Ahmad said the reporter should apologise to every Malay and Muslim in the country for inciting racial hatred.
Ahmad: Tsu Koon a "great liar"
MySinchew (6/9/08): UMNO Bukit Bendera divisional chairman Datuk Ahmad Ismail said he absolutely believed that if Gerakan Rakyat, which had been discarded by the voters of Penang, chose to leave BN, MCA would secure unprecedented victory in the next election.

He said, "If Gerakan wants to leave BN, then let it go. Anway, having worked with (Gerakan acting president) Koh Tsu Koon for 18 years, all I can tell you is that he is a great liar!"

Ahmad Ismail made the above statement when asked to comment on the earlier remarks by Koh that if UMNO failed to resolve the pendatang issue, Gerakan would consider pulling out from BN, during a press conference at Menara UMNO in Penang Friday.
Reporters: He said it
MySinchew (6/9/08): Two other reporters covering the event in which UMNO Bukit Bendera divisional chairman Datuk Ahmad Ismail made the pendatng remarks during the Permatang Pauh by-election, said they clearly heard what he said, and were shocked and feeling comfortable with it.

Guang Ming Daily reporter Li Weihua pointed out that after covering the first event of deputy prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak on 23 August, he went on to cover the DPM's second event, in which he clearly heard the pendatang remarks made by Ahmad Ismail, and was shocked by what was being said.

He said Najib had not yet arrived when he reached Kampung Belah Dua that evening. However, Ahmad Ismail was already giving his speech. As he was not very familiar with the speaker at that time, he did not pay too much attention to what was being said.

He went on, "But later he raised his voice louder and louder, and suddenly I heard this: 'Orang Cina cuma tumpang di sini sahaja.' (The Chinese are only squatting here)"

He said after hearing this, he was very shocked and understood how serious it could be.

Nanyang Siang Pau reporter Chen Minghao also said when he was at Kampung Belah Dua to cover the event, he heard very clearly Ahmad Ismail's pendatang remarks, and felt very uncomfortable with it.

He said after covering Najib's first event, he rushed to Kampung Belah Dua to cover his second event. However, when he reached there, Najib had not arrived yet, while Ahmad Ismail was alreary talking on the stage.

He said although he did not know who Ahmad Ismail was at that time, he heard very clearly that he said, 'Orang Cina cuma tumpang di sini sahaja,' and he felt very uncomfortable with what was being said.

China Press reporter Chen Fengquan, meanwhile, said he arrived too late and missed that part on pendatang.

He said Najib was already talking on the stage when he reached Kampung Belah Dua, and he missed what Ahmad Ismail had said earlier.
Sin Chew Media stands by reporter and story
The Star (6/9/08): Sin Chew Media Corporation Berhad will stand by its reporter who wrote the story about Bukit Bendera Umno chief Ahmad Ismail’s alleged racist statements.

Its chief editor Pook Ah Lek said the newspaper would not apologise as it had done nothing wrong.

“It is a normal tactic by politicians to look for a scapegoat when they are under attack. It is just something he is doing to divert attention,” said Pook.
Umno P Pinang sokong Ahmad (Malaysiakini 5/9/08)
Koh slams Ahmad's 'irresponsible' attitude (Malaysiakini 6/9/08)
PM could go sooner than later: Lim (Malaysiakini 6/9/08)
Ahmad: Many support my statement (Malaysiakini 6/9/08)
Journalists: We did not hear it wrongly
The Star (6/9/08): Two reporters have vouched for the accuracy of the Chinese newspaper’s report on Bukit Bendara Umno division chairman Datuk Ahmad Ismail’s allegedly racist remark.

Guang Ming Daily journalist Lee Kelvin said he was sure he heard Ahmad utter Orang Cina cuma tumpang di sini sahaja (the Chinese are only squatting here.)

"I was following Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak's second assignment at Kampung Pelet.

"When I reached the place, Ahmad was already giving his talk but I did not pay much attention to the content of his speech.

"It was only when Ahmad gradually spoke louder towards the end of the speech that the phrase caught my attention," he said.

Nanyang Siang Pau journalist Tan Ming Xao said the Kampung Pelet ceramah was also his second assignment.

"Najib was already there when I arrived. I don't really know Ahmad so I did not bother much over what he was talking about. Yet, I'm very sure I heard that remark from Ahmad but I did not pay much attention to the rest of his speech after that," he said, adding that he was focusing more on Najib.

Sin Chew Daily journalist Tan Hoon Cheng wrote in her journal, which appeared in the newspaper Saturday that she was sure she did not hear wrongly the alleged remarks.

Tan explained that Ahmad was talking about PKR leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and the talk that DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang would be the next Deputy Prime Minister.

She said Ahmad then asked if anything happened to Anwar, who would be the next Prime Minister.

She said he then asked if they (those attending the talk) wanted Lim to be the Prime Minister.

"After that, Ahmad said 'Chinese were only immigrants (Orang Cina cuma tumpang di sini) and it was impossible for them to achieve equal rights among races'.

"Upon hearing these remarks, I was thinking, did I hear it wrongly? Another journalist came by and whispered to me saying 'How could he say this; (it would) make people angry after hearing it," she said in her journal.

Tan said among some 200 attendees in the hall, some of them turned around and looked at her at the time.

"The look was more of embarrassment."

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