Friday September 5, 2008
Ahmad: Why should I apologise?
By ANDREA FILMERGEORGE TOWN: Bukit Bendera Umno division chief Datuk Ahmad Ismail has refused to apologise over his racist remark calling the Chinese community “immigrants who do not deserve equal rights”.
“Why should I apologise? I didn’t do anything wrong. Those who do wrong should apologise but I haven’t done anything,” Ahmad said when The Star met him outside his Bayan Baru office yesterday.
He, however, refused to comment on whether the press misquoted him.
Sounding calm and collected on the phone, he said a full statement on what transpired would be released after a Penang Umno liaison meeting tomorrow.
He added that he would not say much at present, but wanted to clear up the issue of reporting to the police.
Police are currently investigating five reports lodged against Ahmad under the Sedition Act 1948 for uttering the remarks at a ceramah on the eve of the Permatang Pauh by-election.
He said there were reports of his going to the Bukit Mertajam police station on Wednesday night (to make a statement).
“I want to make it clear that I never told anyone or informed anyone that I would be there. It was their assumption,” he said.
Ahmad recorded a statement at the police contingent headquarters in Penang Road at about 10pm the same night while pressmen from television, online and print media were waiting for him on the mainland.
Asked where he had been over the last few days, Ahmad confirmed that he had been leading a sepak takraw team to a tournament in Bangkok.
“My phone has been on and off, but a lot of my anak buah (supporters) have been calling me, so maybe that’s why it has been hard to get through,” he said.
On the alleged misappropriation of funds involving now-defunct company Popular Profile Sdn Bhd (PPSB), Ahmad said he had resigned before any action was taken on the company.
“This issue has nothing to do with me. Action is taken on a company, not on a personal capacity. Moreover, I resigned from the company on Sept 1, 1998. What happened after that, I don’t know.
“The Chief Minister (Lim Guan Eng) shouldn’t be using his political muscle and power to attack me,” he said, adding that he would not say more on the land deal until he had checked the details.
Lim had recently attacked Ahmad on a 1997 land deal involving PPSB, in which Ahmad had been a director. Lim alleged that the company had cheated the state of RM500,000 in a deal involving 4.2ha of industrial land in Bukit Minyak.