PENANG, 29 Dec 2008: About 4,000 members of Muslim non-governmental organisations (NGOs) gathered peacefully at the Polo field here before proceeding to the official residence of Yang Dipertua Negeri Tun Abdul Rahman Abbas in Jalan Utama to submit a memorandum.
The members, from 20 Muslim NGOs under Yayasan Aminul Ummah Malaysia, started gathering from 8am in conjunction with the Maal Hijrah celebrations.
Its president Md Radzi Daud said the purpose of the gathering was to express unhappiness over the action of some, including political leaders, who touched on sensitive racial issues, including questioning Malay rights and subjects related to ketuanan Melayu.
“Every race has their own rights and Malay rights was stated in the Constitution, dated 1957, and was agreed by all Malaysian races at that time,” he told reporters.
He said the memorandum urged all parties, especially political leaders, not to question Malay rights and to show respect to all races living in Malaysia.
He said NGOs felt that irresponsible statements should not surface as they can stoke racial tension and disrupt harmony among the races.
“We want to put a stop to this and that’s why the gathering, themed ‘racial integration’, was mooted with the approval of the police,” he said, adding that all the races should respect each other in order to create a harmonious environment.
Bernama learnt that the group had initially planned for a procession from Jalan Masjid Negeri to the official residence of Tun Abdul Rahman but since the police had only approved their permit for a two-hour gathering, the plan was aborted. — Bernama