Protest grabs attention for wrong reasons, say MPs

  • Nation
  • Thursday, 29 Nov 2007

MANY MPs agreed that Sunday’s demonstration by the Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) had grabbed international attention for the wrong reasons. 

Datuk Mohd Said Yusof (BN – Jasin) criticised the rally and questioned whether its purpose was to tear the country apart. 

Datuk Hasan Malek (BN – Kuala Pilah) said it had given the world a negative image of Malaysia. 

An emotional Datuk Mohamed Aziz (BN – Sri Gading) challenged the Opposition to deny that they were not involved in the opposition. 

“They have just run out of ideas for the elections. Why must we bother about these 20,000 protesters? What is more important is the 25 million population living here. Let us all live in harmony,” he said. 

Opposition Leader Lim Kit Siang (DAP – Ipoh Timur) highlighted media reports of a foreign female tourist who was affected by the tear gas attacks which aggravated her asthma. 

“Peaceful demonstrations do not scare tourists. It is the high-handed police actions and mishandling of peaceful demonstrations which drive away tourists and investors,” he said when debating on the Supply Bill 2008. 

Lim said the media in India had reported adverse reactions to the government handling of the demonstrations. 

Foreign Ministry parliamentary secretary Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek said the Government had not received any objection from international organisations or foreign Governments on issues raised by Hindraf. 

He said Malaysian Indians would not have felt discriminated and marginalised had the Opposition not try to claim political mileage.  

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