Late this evening, Deputy Prime Minister and Umno deputy president Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak issued a public apology to all Malaysians over the racist statement made by Ahmad Ismail, the Umno Bukit Bendera division head, in the run-up to the Permatang Pauh parliamentary by-election.
This is seen by many as a departure from the "arrogant" Umno, we used to know and is definitely better than "I will tell him not to do it again" statement.
I hope the party, being the backbone of the Barisan Nasional, realises that it does not merely cater for one single race but also is watched by other races in the country.
Umno leaders should realise that they do not just cater for a specific race and should watch what they say.
We in the MIC, MCA or even Gerakan even at our general assemblies are controlled in our words even when we talk about Bumiputera policies and privileges. They too should do the same.
They also need to realise the change in the nation's political landscape and the time has come for them to make sweeping statement, that could hurt the feelings of other races.
We need to bring back the good old days of tolerance, unity with sincerity and not mere words. Let us hope that this mistake would not be repeated and that the Bukit Bendera Umno division head would be dealt with accordingly by the party.
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