KUALA LUMPUR: Umno must make a stand on recent comments made by certain party leaders or risk sending mixed signals to the public, says Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah.
On the recent statement by Ketereh MP Tan Sri Annuar Musa that racism is allowed in Islam, Saifuddin said “there is no such thing as Islamic racism”.
Annuar had reportedly said that he is a racist and racism is allowed in Islam.
The Global Movement of Moderates CEO also referred to Sungai Besar Umno division chief Datuk Jamal Yunus who had made a speech against former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, as well an incident in Kota Baru, Kelantan, where effigies of Opposition leaders Lim Kit Siang and Lim Guan Eng were burnt at an event.
Jamal had reportedly challenged Mahathir to join Wednesday’s Himpunan Rakyat Bersatu if the former premier “felt he was Malay enough”.
“Three division leaders are involved. But these men are not commoners who stepped on photos of Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and Datuk Seri Hadi Awang during the Bersih 4 rally. They are part of the decision-making process in Umno.
“So I think Umno has to make a stand or you would be sending mixed signals to the public that for short-term gain, some people are allowed to do as they please,” he told reporters after moderating a session entitled “Is Liberalism Compatible with National Identity?” at the Liberalism Conference here on Saturday.
On the Wednesday’s rally, Saifuddin said the protest was more of a show of support for Najib.
“I don’t think the rally was about Umno or Barisan Nasional. The rally, at least to the organisers, was to show their support to the Prime Minister,” he said.
Saifuddin said there were different opinions from within Umno on the rally.
“Some were for it and some were reserved about it because they understand it is not within their interest to have this assembly.“Umno does not have a narrative of having a peaceful rally although I must admit, with the exception of the violence in Petaling Street, the rally was peaceful,” he said.