Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Mohd Nazri Abdul Aziz said the BTN deputy director was suspended on Oct 6 and issued a warning letter.
However, Nazri did not elaborate on the duration of the suspension.
He was responding to a question from Wee Jeck Seng (BN-Tanjong Piai) to state the number of civil servants who have faced disciplinary action for being racist while on duty.
At a closed-door briefing, Hamim (right) had reportedly referred to the Chinese as si sepet (slant-eyed) and to Indians as si kaki botol (alcoholics) when speaking of Umno's need to co-opt other races for electoral purposes.
The cabinet then ordered a probe over the incident, which took place during a Puteri Umno function in September.
The minister also said the government has acted on two school principals - in Kulaijaya, Johor and Bukit Selambau, Kedah - for similar offences.
Siti Aishah Mansor, principal of SMK Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra in Johor and Ungku Aznan Ungku Ismail, principal of SMK Bukit Selambau, Sungai Petani, in Kedah - were suspended and reassigned to desk duty at the education department in their respective states.
Mohd Nazri said the three cases were the first such offences reported to the government.
“Nevertheless the government is committed and assures that action will be taken against the officers involved under the Public Officers (Conduct and Discipline) Regulations 1993,” he said.
He explained that the investigation initiated against the school principals and the punishment was in accordance with regulations.
Limits to gov't action
Wee, in a supplementary question, stated that the government's move to punish the civil servants was not “effective enough” and has given the perception that the officers can behave “as they like” despite causing distress.
He asked if the government will take more stringent to prevent such incidents from recurring.
However, Mohd Nazri (left) said that, even if the government wants to mete out much stricter punishments, it cannot.
“We can only do according to what is stated in the code of conduct. This doesn't mean the government doesn't want to take stricter action but we are limited by the regulations,” he said.
He explained that, although the police can probe the matter under the Sedition Act if police reports are made, it is also crucial to observe the behaviour of officers after the government has taken action.
“These principals had no intention to incite (hatred), they said it accidentally. In order to (initiate a) probe under Section 504 of the Penal Code or Sedition Act, there must be intention to incite,” said Mohd Nazri.
“We can study from their behaviour after making the statement - the teacher in Johor apologised four times to her non-Muslim colleagues and students in the assembly. The principal in Kedah also apologised - it clearly shows that it wasn't said on purpose but accidentally."
seals: Just a warning and "suspension" and maybe a promotion. I want to see if the same applied for all...... sure they will be arrested for sedition.... even if you report it. Like the reporter that was arrested under ISA and the UMNO man who said it was free and happy.