Two reporters covering the event in which Bukit Bendera Umno division chief Ahmad Ismail made the alleged racist remarks during the Permatang Pauh by-election, claimed that they clearly heard what he said.
They also said they were shocked and felt very uncomfortable after hearing Ahmad's utterances.
According to MySinchew online, Guang Ming Daily reporter Li Weihua related that after covering the first event of Deputy Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak on the night in question, he went on to cover the DPM's second event, in which he clearly heard the ‘penumpang’ remarks uttered by Ahmad Ismail.
Li said he was shocked by what was being said.
He said Najib had not yet arrived when he reached Kampung Belah Dua that evening. However, Ahmad Ismail was already giving his speech. As he was not very familiar with the speaker at that time, he did not pay too much attention to what he was saying.
Li went on, "But later he (Ahmad) raised his voice louder and louder, and suddenly I heard this: 'Orang Cina cuma tumpang di sini sahaja.' (The Chinese are only squatting here)"
He said after hearing this, he was very shocked and understood how sensitive the remarks could be.
Heard Very Clearly
Nanyang Siang Pau reporter Chen Minghao also said that when he was at Kampung Belah Dua to cover the event, he heard very clearly Ahmad Ismail's ‘penumpang’ remarks, and felt very uncomfortable with it.
He said after covering Najib's first event, he rushed to Kampung Belah Dua to cover his second event. However, when he reached there, Najib had not arrived yet and Ahmad Ismail was already addressing the crowd on the stage.
Chen said although he did not know who Ahmad Ismail was at that time, he heard very clearly that he said, 'Orang Cina cuma tumpang di sini sahaja,' and he felt very uncomfortable with what was being said.
Ahmad announced in Penang today that he would be suing Sin Chew Daily and a reporter for quoting him out of context in his speech that night.
Sin Chew has stood by its report on Ahmad Ismail's remarks.