Hamidah Osman, The Indian and The Snake!
Posted by ella-mae on February 10, 2009
Barisan Nasional ADUN from Sungei Rapat, Hamidah Osman was sworn in this morning as a Perak EXCO member.
Malaysian Insider had earlier reported Hamidah Osman was not too happy with Zambry’s appointment because she had great expectations to be the country’s first female Menteri Besar.
She was probably not made the MB because Hamidah Osman prefers a certain type of reptile more than some of her constituents.
Noooo…Hamidah Osman did not mean our Feather-Indian friend here…
Let’s reminisce together…
Ahti Veeranggan | Jun 28, 08 6:55pm
Sungai Rapat state assemblyperson Hamidah Osman, who caused a furore in the Perak legislative assembly on Friday with her racial slur, has publicly apologised for hurting the Indian community.
At a packed press conference in the Ipoh Country Club this morning, the Barisan Nasional elected representative issued the public apology before newsmen, saying that it was not her intention to hurt the Indian community with a racial slur.
“I have already retracted my statement in the House and now, I am offering my humble and sincere apology here to all Indians for uttering the racist remarks in the heat of the moment.
“I regret for saying that and promise not to repeat it anywhere anymore,” said a visibly moved Hamidah, who plans to embark on a ‘constituency road-show’ to explain and apologise over the incident to electorates in Gopeng, which encompasses Sungai Rapat.
Her apology came in the wake of several police reports lodged by Perak Indian-based public interests groups such as cultural-based organisation Ipoh Tamilar Tirunaal (ITT) organising committee, which has 30 Indian NGO affiliates.
Remarks spark furore
ITT advisor M Mathialagan, a lawyer, lodged the report condemning Hamidah’s racial slur and called upon her to openly apologise to all Indian Malaysians.
During a fiery state assembly meeting in Ipoh yesterday, Hamidah earned the wrath of Pakatan Rakyat assemblypersons when she asked whether speaker Sivakumar (an Indian) ‘agreed to disagree’ with a well-known fable of whether a snake or a man from a certain racial community should be killed first.
Her ‘un-assembly-like’ question sparked a furore, prompting Pakatan Rakyat elected representatives led by executive councillor Nga Kor Ming (DAP-Pantai Remis) to demand that she retracts her words.
However, Hamidah maintained her innocence and said she was merely asking if Sivakumar “agreed to disagree” with it.
The speaker who is also DAP Tronoh assemblyperson instead let her off the hook with a mere warning of “not to repeat such sensitive remarks.”
She later retracted her words.
Hamidah was roundly criticised by elected representatives and public interests groups from inside and outside Perak for uttering racist remarks in the House.
DAP Buntong state assemblyperson A Sivasubramaniam did not mince his words, labeling her “a racist upholding BN tradition of racial brand politics”.
“It is ungainly graceless for a people’s representative to utter such racist remarks against the speaker and his community,” he said.
Playing with fire
Sivasubramaniam also said Hamidah’s remarks was proof that BN, particularly Umno, had yet to accept its electoral defeat and conform to the reality that “a speaker of Indian origin was presiding the House”.
“She and Umno are playing with fire by hurting the racial sentiment of others,” he told Malaysiakini.
Meanwhile, Penang’s Datuk Keramat assemblyperson Jagdeep Singh Deo said the Perak assembly should have suspended Hamidah immediately and referred her to the Privileges Committee for disciplinary action.
Over the years, Jagdeep’s father, Bukit Gelugor MP Karpal Singh has had in several instances clashed with Barisan MPs in Parliament over similar racist remarks that implicitly portrayed “the Indian community as more venomous than a snake”.
The Penang assemblyperson said Hamidah’s racial slur clearly showed BN had not learnt its lessons from the last general election.
He suggested that another round of elections would remind the coalition that “its racial brand politics no longer appeals to the majority of Malaysians”.
However, a Perak government insider said Hamidah was not referred to the Privilege Committee because she was deliberately left to “suffer public condemnation”.
“She could have become an Umno ‘heroine’ and evaded public humiliation since she would gain ‘immunity’ if referred to the committee.
“The game plan worked to force Hamidah to come out and openly apologise to Indians in Perak and the country as well,” the insider said.
Maybe it’s a blessing in disguise: the newly (I still cannot believe MY SULTAN DID THIS) installed Perak state government does not have a single Indian rep.
So with this new (I still cannot believe MY SULTAN DID THIS) state government in place, Hamidah Osman can no longer threaten to beat up anyone from the ruling (I still cannot believe MY SULTAN DID THIS) coalition.