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Hishammuddin has not realized that he was being subtly criticized when First Secretary of Communist Youth League of China (CYLC) Hu Chunhua told him most diplomatically that what was important was not the Malay keris but who wielded it

Media Statement        
by Lim Kit Siang  

(Parliament, Wednesday): During the debate on the  Environmental Quality Act Amendment Bill this morning, I had raised the episode during the recent visit to China by the Education Minister and UMNO Youth leader, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein and his meeting with the First Secretary of the Communist Youth League of China (CYLC), Hu Chunhua, when the issue of Malay keris was raised. 

As the BN MP for Ketereh, Datuk Md Alwi Che Ahmad had again raised the issue of the Malay keris, particularly about its cultural significance, I referred to the Sin Chew Daily report of 26th May 2007, on Hishammuddin’s hour-long meeting with Hu in Beijing.  

During the discussion, Hishammuddin explained that the Malay keris symbolized leadership and unity, and Hu responded, saying what was important was not the Malay keris but the one who wielded it. 

This account of the exchange between Hishammuddin and Hu was given by the MP for Puchong, Lau Yeng Peng, who as Gerakan Youth Education chief, who was also present at the meeting in Beijing. 

This report was taken by readers as a very subtle and pointed criticism of Hishammuddin by Hu, who had clearly been briefed of the raging and divisive controversy surrounding Hishammuddin’s unsheathing the Malay keris at two recent UMNO Youth general assemblies heedless of the rights and sensitivities of different communities in the country. 

However, it is clear from the exchanges in Parliament this morning, Hishammuddin, Lau and the BN Youth leaders and MPs did not realize that Hishammuddin was being subtly criticized by the First Secretary of the Communist Youth League of China, but took it as a compliment. 

I am told that Hishammuddin and the BN Youth leaders were very proud of Hu’s remark. 

It is shocking that Hishammuddin and the BN Youth leaders and MPs do not realize that although Hu had used very diplomatic language, the Chinese Communist Youth leader was being quite critical of Hishammuddin’s wielding of the Malay keris. 


* Lim Kit Siang, Parliamentary Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic Planning Commission Chairman

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