Thursday, September 10, 2009

Cow Head Protests: BAR Press Statement:- Mutual Respect and acceptance of all faiths

Press Release

Mutual respect and acceptance for all faiths

The Malaysian Bar is disappointed with Minister of Home Affairs Y.B. Dato' Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein’s response to the demonstration outside the Selangor Secretariat building last Friday. By not denouncing the offensive actions of some of the demonstrators and instead accepting their weak explanation, he has trivialised the seriousness of the incident.

It is also disquieting that a number of Federal Government leaders have made irresponsible statements – including blaming the Selangor state government – that have politicised and exacerbated the situation while not addressing the issues at hand.

The fact that this is a Muslim-majority area is immaterial and should not, in and of itself, be permitted to serve as an adequate basis for rejecting the establishment of a place of worship for any other faith. In a uniquely multi-ethnic and multi-faith society such as ours, we must uphold the right of every group to have access to, and build, places of worship, within the parameters provided in the Federal Constitution.

The Malaysian Bar firmly believes that individuals must be allowed to legitimately exercise their rights to assemble peaceably and to express their viewpoints, including dissenting opinions. However, we do not condone any acts that disrespect, insult, or incite intolerance towards others and their beliefs. We regret that a small group of individuals engaged in an act that, in the public perception, was deliberately calculated to inflame sentiments, offend and show contempt, and we commend all those who have spoken up to criticise that behaviour.

We have numerous examples of how our diverse and rich cultures and faiths have co-existed, and even flourished, peacefully. The location of a mosque, Hindu temple and Christian church in very close proximity in the vicinity of Pitt Street in Penang, and the presence of temples and large Buddhist statues in Muslim-majority Kelantan, are but two compelling examples.

This, then, is our cherished heritage, which we must strive to preserve.

We urge not only an attitude of openness and tolerance, but the practice of mutual respect and acceptance. The true test of a mature democracy and responsible government is how the rights of the people, including minority groups, are protected.

Ragunath Kesavan
Malaysian Bar

3 September 2009


pokdi said...

once upon a time somebody demoish a mosque in babri, india. there must be two-way traffic.

Pragalath said...

Itu berlaku di luar Malaysia la.

Ia tidak berkaitan dengan apa yang berlaku di sini.

Tambahan pula kumpulan orang Hindu RSS di India mendakwa bahawa Masjid Babri dibina atas runtuhan kuil Rama di Ayodhya

Samuel Goh Kim Eng said...


People with common sense would know what should be done best
Yet too many people fail to lead and blindly follow the rest
While knowing matters are important and not to be treated with jest
So that no eggs will be carelessly laid in the wrong nests

(C) Samuel Goh Kim Eng - 110909
Fri. 11th Sept. 2009.