DAP's Ng Wei Aik personally apologises to the owner of a nasi kandar restaurant, but his critics vow to continue baying for his blood.
However, Ng’s remorse failed to placate the Indian-Muslim organisation, Suara Anak Anak Mamak Pulau Pinang.
The organisation’s chairperson Mohamad Ghani Abdul Jiman, 44, vowed to continue protesting until Ng quits his post.
He also led some 40 people to stage a protest on the third floor of the Komtar building this afternoon, calling for Ng’s head to roll.
“By getting involved in the council’s operation on the restaurant and seizing their tables and chairs, he had overstepped his boundaries as an elected rep. So his apology is not important, we want him to resign, we want a by-election in Komtar,” said Ghani.
Earlier, accompanied by PKR state Youth chief Amir Ghazali and other Pakatan Rakyat Youth leaders, Ng personally apologised to Syed Kassali Mohammed Aliyar, the owner of Restoran Nasi Kandar Mohammed Aliyar at Gat Lebuh Macallum.
Ng, who is also the political secretary to Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng, said he apologised for being rude and aggressive during a local council enforcement operation on the restaurant on Jan 3.
The DAP assemblyman expressed his regret to Syed Kassali, his family and friends for uttering any unwarranted remarks, consciously or otherwise. Syed Kassali accepted the apology.
However, Ng stopped short of apologising over an alleged racist remark he made, and continued to maintain his innocence over the matter.
Ng was alleged to have uttered “tutup kedai, balik India” (close shop, go back to India) to Syed Kassali’s workers during the raid.
The issue sparked a furore among the Indian-Muslim community in Penang.
Led by the Malaysian Indian Muslim Congress (Kimma), they held a rally last week against Ng and submitted a memorandum to the chief minister, urging action be taken against the former.
‘Let the issue rest’
In a statement, Ng said he apologised to maintain and strengthen the strong ties between the state government and the Indian-Muslim community.
He said he wanted to preserve the state government’s efforts to safeguard the welfare of businessmen in Penang irrespective of their race and religious backgrounds.
Meanwhile, PKR’s Amir hoped that the apology would put an end to the controversy and urged all quarters to stop fanning racial sentiments.
“We shall put the issue behind us and look forward to co-exist and live together in a peaceful, multi-racial, caring and family atmosphere,” he said in a statement.