KUALA LUMPUR: Bukit Bendera UMNO division chief Ahmad Ismail's membership has been suspended for three years with immediate effect, prime minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi announced this evening.
The prime minister said the UMNO supreme council, which met today, views Ahmad's statements and actions which enraged component parties of the Barisan Nasional as serious.
The punishment is meted out under Section 20.9 of the party's constitution, said Abdullah who is also the party president at a press conference after chairing the two-hour meeting here today.
At a ceramah on 23 August during the campaign in the Permatang Pauh by-election, Ahmad accused the Chinese community as squatters who were not qualified to enjoy the same rights as Malays.
The statement has enraged both the MCA and Gerakan leadership which have since demanded that Ahmad apologise publicly but he refused to do so. (Bernama)