The Education Minister-cum-Umno Youth chief Hishammuddin Hussein today apologised for raising the keris .
He said that he took full responsibility for his actions but gave NO guarantee that he would not repeat the keris-waving again during this year's Umno annual general assembly.
"I am sorry if it had affected the non-Malays," he told reporters after attending a Barisan Nasional (BN) Youth meeting at the Putra World Trade Centre in Kuala Lumpur.
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Party veteran Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah three weeks ago criticised the annual airing of the keris, saying it made Umno looked like 'a fanatical Malay party'. Read here for more
"...Do you trust this man when he says that he regrets the keris incident and now apologies?
I know, you will say that this apology is dictated by politics post March 8—and I agree.
The Barisan Nasional, in particular UMNO Malay nationalists like "Kerismuddin" (the Malaysian Education Minister-cum-Umno Youth chief Hishammuddin Hussein) and Khairy Jamaluddin, was rejected by the Malaysian voters. If not for the postal votes, fancy tricks of the Elections Commission headed by Rashid Rahman and vote buying antics of the cash rich Barisan Nasional, Malaysia would be under the Pakatan Rakyat government today.
And Kerismuddin would probably have retired or just be an ordinary Member of Parliament if he were elected.
In my opinion, Kerismuddin is making a tactical retreat because it is politically expedient for him to express remorse or swallow the bitter pill, so to speak.
Imagine what he would have done if the Barisan Nasional had won resoundingly in 2008, as it did in 2004.
My guess is that he would be wearing the keris under his coat with arrogance as he heads to his Ministry every morning. UMNO arrogance will be on display again.
Unfortunately, like the rest in Barisan Nasional including our Prime Minister, Kerismuddin totally ignored the signals which our Special Branch and Military Intelligence had given to them of an impending political tsunami. Instead, he and Khairy Jamaluddin were talking “sifar pembangkang” (zero opposition).
As if in defiance, Malaysian voters sent 82 Pakatan Rakyat candidates to the 13th Parliament, which opens on April 28, 2008.
If he is serious about his apology and wants to show remorse, then Kerismuddin should resign as Minister of Education whose portfolio is in mess, Member of Parliament and senior UMNO party member and retire quietly from politics.
In addition, he should do at least a week’s community service, wearing a vest with the words “I am sorry” printed on its back.
Otherwise, this apology is meaningless."
On Umno Youth chief Hishammuddin Hussein’s apology for waving the keris during the past three Umno general assemblies, Anwar said that PKR would accept and that the former should NOT repeat his act.
He said:“The crux of the matter is not the keris as a symbol.
What matters is HIS attitude which shows arrogance and the use of racial issues in politics.
That is still being continued.
They are raising issues about pig farming, Malay supremacy...claiming that the Malays are now very angry against the Selangor government...
This sentiment is still strong in Umno.”
This is the person that is responsible for moulding the thoughts of our children.
"... The struggles of BN is ultimately more important than myself and we cannot indulge in actions which will frighten other races,” he (Hishammudin) added. “This is a realisation that we’ve come to today in our meeting after one-and-a-half months of soul-searching.”
It is obvious why he is apologizing. It is implicitly contained in his own statement.
He is apologizing BECAUSE “ the struggles of BN is ultimately more important than myself”.
- That means if the results of the elections had been favorable to BN, he would NOT have apologize.
- That means deep inside him as a person he does NOT see the need to apologize, NOT even after the immediate outcry of the non-Malays after the shameful act.
- That means deep inside him he does NOT care about what the other half of the people in this country feels.
Very sad and shameful.
The person that is supposed to collectively have the greatest impact on what our future leaders’ values and worldviews would be.
After one and a half months of soul searching, the Pemuda UMNO, realized that whatever their feel towards the non-Malays should be kept to themselves and not to be shown in public.
Before the election they were confident enough to show their true selves now they are going to keep it under wraps for political expediency.
Should we wonder now why after 50 years of independence, most aspects of our life in this country are still being centered on racial lines ?
This kind of leader (?) makes our jobs as parents in developing children to be blind to racial differences so much harder.
- "... I wouldn't consider that an apology! He apologizes "IF it offended non-Malays", but was sorry "for not being able to defend a heritage symbol" of the Malays. He or UMNO Baru didn't admit that it was wrong of him to do it.
Hisham, Please take a hike .... go have a couple of pegs of whisky and go to bed!.."
- "...What an act of desperate to save his own political ass & BN's relevence to Malaysia... We used to hear his Angkuh, Bodoh, Sombong & racist remarks ever since & during his tenure as UMNO Youth Chief. Perhaps Hishammuddin had lost Chinese triads financial support over that rust Keris. Khairy will be the next idiot to wave the Keris... in December for "Merry KerisMus" celebration... "
- "...Hishamuddin, Please get this straight. Your apology is too late.
The PR should thank you for your action that brings easy success through your Keris weilding. Please do it again with a longer Keris this December.
The non Malays are not scared of your threat. They are more involved with bringing prosperity to the country. Your action has also affect the downfall of MCA ,MIC and Gerakan. Please say sorry to them too. Inspite of their appeasement within 4 walls you still hold up the keris.
Rakyat is not scared anymore. Just look at the massive demo in recent times That is the message for you too. You have to do much selling to regain the respect you had long ago. The other races cannot put their trust in you anymore. ..."
- "....Himamudin has to swallow his sword, but what is in his blood cannot be cleansed....and apology not accepted as it is not sincere. This has be be more than skin deep, he thinks the people are stupid, please look beyond, and his action is beyond repair.."
- "... I cannot believe this is coming from our Education Minister, the person who is entrusted with the education and therefore, the future of the children and youth of our entire nation. God help us!
First he got so arrogant that he completety disregarded the obvious consequence of his clearly racist keris waving gesture. After being blamed for causing the disastrous GE results, "he suddenly" suspects that his keris waving might have offended the non malays.
This epiphany came after months and months of stubbornly defending his actions. But just in case he may look like a wimp (instead of a fearless warrior) to the malays, he apologises to them for not being able to "defend the malay symbol".
Hey Minister, guess what? You cannot have it both ways, or in your case, three ways. The rakyat sees right through you. This "half hearted, damage control" apology is way, way too late and reeks of insincerity.
- "...First he says sorry for spooking the non-Malay comunity.... then.... he says SORRY to the MALAYS for not lifting the MALAY symbol (Keris)
Actually, Hishammudin is trying to unload some bagagge, Why?
1) the UMNO General assembly is coming.
2) he is moving out of UMNO YOUTH...so he is trying to shed his tarnished 'skin'
3) the Amibition of being PM one day (after NAJIB perhaps)
4) damage control in UMNO, so that Tun Mad wont lash out at him.
5) let Khairy to burn by himself...
6) keeping all options open: badawi faction or Tun Mad faction or...a possible jump ship (he can always do this by claming that his grandpapa wanted a Multi Race party)...
So people, watch his stratigic moves from here on...
- "...Come on, people, for whatever reason, the man has been brave enough to apologise. We should accept it in good faith. Let us not be so small minded.
My only complaint is that, by also saying that he was sorry for not being able to defend a heritage symbol of the Malays, Hishammuddin seems to show that he is unable to differentiate between a keris that is being waved as a threat to spill blood and a keris that is being portrayed as a symbol.
Nobody, in his right mind, would object to the keris, which is a beautiful implement, as a heritage symbol, not only of the Malays, but of all Malaysians.
Nobody, I believe, would find it repulsive if a knife is used to cut bread but many would object if it is used to threaten the life of a person. ..."