KUALA LUMPUR: A government backbencher today called for a law to outlaw racism following the recent scuffle between university students and supporters of former prime minister Najib Razak.
Ramkarpal Singh (PH-Bukit Gelugor) also criticised the confrontation of the Universiti Malaya students, claiming that the scuffle was instigated by Umno.
This earned him a rebuke from Umno’s Bung Moktar Radin (BN-Kinabatangan) who asked the DAP leader how he knew this to be true.
But Ramkarpal insisted that the scuffle was Umno’s doing. “Recognise this as being caused by Umno,” he said in the Dewan Rakyat today.
The scuffle on Friday took place across the road from a restaurant where Najib was speaking at a dialogue on the upper floor. Less than a dozen students holding placards condemning Najib were attacked by several Umno supporters, including Supreme Council member Lokman Noor Adam.
Lokman was also alleged to have made a racist remark towards a student for being a Chinese and a “DAP member”.
Ramkarpal said such action was unwarranted. He also condemned the reported attacks on several journalists who were at the scene.
“If you don’t like what they report, do you attack them?
“That’s why I’m asking the home ministry to enact a law to make this (hurling racist statements) a crime as these are acts that reek of racism.”
Calls of support were heard from at least three Umno MPs including Bung, Ahmad Maslan (BN-Pontian) and Shahidan Kassim (BN-Arau).
After Ramkarpal sat down, the next MP was about to start speaking but was interrupted by someone who shouted out “May 13”.
Deputy Dewan Rakyat speaker Nga Kor Ming, who presided over the session, shook his head at this.
Before he spoke, though, RSN Rayer (PH-Jelutong) asked if the matter of the university students being roughed up could be debated. But Nga said no.