Umno official denies making racist remarks in London

(The Malaysian Insider) – Umno executive secretary, Datuk Abdul Rauf Yusoh, has vehemently denied a Malaysian student’s allegation that he made racist remarks at an Umno Club function in London a few days ago.

Rauf led an Umno delegation to London to meet with party members there in a private closed-door meeting earlier this week. There the student, Ahmad Naim Mazlan, heard the party official refer to non-Malays as “bangsa asing” who were trampling on the Malays in “Tanah Melayu”.

In a letter sent to The Malaysian Insider, the finance and accounting student heard Rauf saying “Jangan biarkan bangsa asing pijak kepala kita.” (Don’t let the foreigners walk all over our heads.)

But Rauf denied making any derogatory remarks, stressing that the session was a closed-door meeting and no one outside should be listening in to what was being discussed.

“This was a closed door session… this is not true, because what I said was that Malays must sustain power in order to gain respect from the Chinese and other races,” Rauf told The Malaysian Insider in a telephone interview.

The top Umno official went to great lengths to point out that the function was a party function for “Kelab Umno” and was not a public forum organised by the Malaysian Students Department.

“I think the student who overheard, his BM (Malay language) was not very good,” he added.

The student in London also claimed to have overheard Rauf and an “Umno Youth Exco” defending Datuk Nasir Safar’s recent racist tirade against non-Malays.

Nasir resigned as special officer to the Prime Minister shortly after controversy erupted over an allegedly racist statement he made at a 1 Malaysia seminar in Malacca. It was alleged that he said, “Indians came to Malaysia as beggars and Chinese especially the women came to sell their bodies”

“I am not supporting Nasir Safar at all! I am not supporting what he said. Let me just put it this way — there is a right forum to talk about Malay interests, and what Nasir Safar did was not right, talking like that in public.

“If it was discussed behind a closed door session, its normal, but he said it outside… what he said was not right,” said Rauf, who used to be the Umno Youth assistant secretary.

He also maintained that Umno is essentially a Malay party, therefore it was an acceptable practice for Umno to talk about “Malay interests”.