Rommel's remarks irresponsible and baseless, says Hishammuddin

NST, 2007/11/16

PUTRAJAYA: Umno Youth chief Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein has described Thierry Rommel’s statement that Malaysia was living under an effective state of emergency as baseless and irresponsible.

Hishammuddin described Rommel’s act as meddling into Malaysia’s domestic affairs.
He also claimed that the former European Commission envoy to Malaysia had a hidden agenda.
“I want to warn him not to meddle into our affairs. He should do his homework before coming up with such remarks which are uncalled for and will only damage his credibility and that of the EU.”
In reality, Hishammuddin said there were no barriers or restrictions imposed on Malaysians.

“The people can judge for themselves whether what he (Rommel) had said is true or not,” Hishammuddin, who is also Education Minister, said after presenting a Jalur Gemilang to the Malaysian team participating in the World Olympiad Robotic Championship.Rommel had claimed that Malaysia was living under an effective state of emergency after police used tear gas and water cannon to break up a rally on Saturday.
Rommel had also said that the crackdown on demonstrators asking for “clean” elections had proven his point and that a part of the population was feeling their voice was not being heard because of the way the elections were managed.
The former envoy, chastised recently for criticising Malaysia’s affirmative action policies to help Malays, also came out with a similar line in an interview with Reuters.
He had said that affirmative action towards the Malays distorted trade ties with others.
Hishammuddin also criticised the Al-Jazeera News for its “one-sided” and unfair coverage of the demonstration.
The demonstrators, he said, did not realise that they were being exploited by certain parties to achieve their agenda.
“They are not happy that our country is progressive and the people from various races, could live side-by-side in peace and harmony. Some Malaysians do not realise that they are being used by these unscrupulous quarters to create havoc, to belittle our country and its leaders.”