KUALA LUMPUR, June 10 — If DAP does apologise and demands the same from Umno, the head of the Malay nationalist party’s Youth wing Dr Muhamad Akmal Saleh today said there would have to be a good reason for it.
He said Umno Youth has no plans to retract its demand for an apology from DAP as the gesture is important to party members.
“It is actually a good thing if they demand an apology from us too. However, they must have a good and solid reason to do so,” he told reporters at a press conference during the Umno General Assembly 2023 at the World Trade Centre here.
In response to DAP secretary-general Anthony Loke yesterday urging Umno Youth to move on from the past, Dr Akmal said it already had.
“Don’t get me wrong. We have moved on. I even texted Kelvin Yii to discuss how Barisan Nasional (BN) Youth and Pakatan Harapan (PH) Youth will work together for the upcoming state elections.
“But some grassroots members have voiced their concerns. They want DAP to apologise to clear the air as both Umno and DAP will be working together. It is only right for them to do so,” he said.
On June 8, in a fiery policy speech during the Umno General Assembly 2023, Dr Akmal made a controversial demand for enemy-turned-ally DAP to apologise for its previous attacks on the party.
He demanded DAP apologise to Umno for its purported past mistakes, and to prove its sincerity to the coalition government led by PKR’s Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, which comprises PH and BN component parties, Gabungan Parti Sarawak and Gabungan Bersatu Sabah.
Umno president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi quickly dismissed the need for DAP to apologise, saying the matter does not need to be raised again by his party.
Later that same day, Dr Akmal remained defiant and stood firm on his demand.
That night, Umno deputy president Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan was reported by Malaysiakini as saying that he backed Umno Youth’s controversial demand that DAP apologise.
Yesterday, Loke urged Umno Youth to heed Zahid’s call to put aside the two parties’ hostile past for the sake of the nation.
Earlier today, Mohamad said he hopes that the apology demanded by Dr Akmal will not cause divisions within the federal coalition government.