07 April, 2010

The Selangor BN's UMNO convention

The Selangor BN convention was marked with controversy after 15 representatives from the Kapar MCA division walked out of the event shortly after the opening ceremony.

Kapar MCA division chief Song Kee Chai told Malaysiakini that division representatives were outraged that the coalition's maiden state convention was preceded by the singing of the Umno anthem, soon after the BN anthem.

“This convention is organised in the name of BN, not Umno. So singing the Umno song does not reflect BN and the 1Malaysia spirit,” he said.

Additionally, Song said division representatives were also upset that only Umno leaders were invited to sit on the stage, while leaders from other component parties were seated with the crowd.

Song said this was disrespectful to all the other component parties.

He said his members were also upset with the keynote address by Noh Omar, who alluded that non-Malays should be grateful that they were granted Malaysian citizenship.

Among others, Noh Omar had quoted speeches of fourth MCA president Tan Siew Sin and fifth MIC president VT Sambanthan from the 1960s, who praised Umno and the Malays for granting citizenship to the non-Malays.

MIC secretary-general S Murugesan also expressed unhappiness that no arrangements were made for non-Umno leaders to be on stage.

"It looks like they were not respecting us," he said.

When approached, organising chairperson Mohd Zin Mohamed said that he was not aware of the walkout, adding that Song had not spoken to him about it.

"What is the issue? I don't see any issue," he said, when told of Song's complaints.

He also defended the playing of the Umno song in the morning session, saying that it was "only natural", because the organising committee was headed by Umno.

Meanwhile, A top Utusan Malaysia editor has blamed Malaysiakini as the source of today's problems and described the online news portal's editor as “a frustrated media person”.

Zaini Hassan, a senior editor and columnist of the Umno-owned newspaper, said “the problem began with them (Malaysiakini)” in his speech at the one-day Selangor BN convention in Shah Alam.

"They (Malaysiakini) have become popular. But who is really behind them?"

Another controversial Utusan columnist Dr Ridhuan Tee Abdullah said the concept of justice and equality had been misinterpreted by many parties to mean that everything should be shared fairly and equally.

“What it truly means is what the component party leaders of the past such as MIC's VT Sambanthan and MCA's Tan Siew Sin had said - equality is not having the same things,” said Ridhuan.

“When this country was formed, there was only one race. And this fact has to be respected, you have to respect us (Malays) for that,” he said.

Dr Ridhuan Tee Abdullah is a Chinese Muslim, not Malay .

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