Umno Youth, a wing of the United Malays National Organization (UMNO) which is the biggest party in Malaysian Government, wants the Editor-in-Chief of the Sarawak Tribune newspaper to resign for reprinting caricatures of Prophet Muhammed.
“Umno Youth sees the resignation of the newspaper’s editor as not enough,” said Chief of Umno Youth, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein.
The Editor-on-Duty of the newspaper has resigned himself after reproducing the controversial cartoon on page 12 of its February 4, 2006 edition accompanying an article headlined “Cartoon not much impact here”.
“Ummo Youth will not compromise in this matter. It’s no use condemning foreign newspapers for carrying the caricatures when our own newspapers don’t respect the protests against it and take advantage of the situation,” he added.
Hishammuddin has asked the Internal Security Ministry to suspend the newspaper’s permit until investigations into the incident were completed. He said that if it was found that the newspaper had done it intentionally or with ulterior motives, the ministry in-charge should act sternly by revoking its publishing permit.
On February 7, 2006, Deputy Internal Security Minister Datuk Noh Omar summoned the group editor and senior management to explain their reasons to reproduce the caricatures.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi described Sarawak Tribune’s publication of the offensive caricatures of Prophet Muhammad as “insensitive and irresponsible”.
The Prime Minister also said there is no need to boycott Danish products over cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed, just days after he condemned the controversial images.
In a media briefing after the Ministry’s Monthly assembly, he said that Malaysians are very unhappy with the entire accident, but they do know how to control their anger.
Furthermore, Hishammuddin has urged all groups, especially political parties which supported Umno Youth in protesting the publication of the caricatures, to send a protest memorandum to the Danish Embassy in Malaysia.