Hishammuddin to meet with Sec 23 residents

  • Nation
  • Tuesday, 01 Sep 2009

PUTRAJAYA: Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein will meet with residents of Section 23 in Shah Alam residents Wednesday to find out if there is any truth in the allegations that Umno members were responsible for the protest last Friday against the relocation of a Hindu temple.

Hishammuddin claimed that although there had been allegations that Umno members were involved, he had also received information that members of other political parties were also present during the protest where a cow’s head was placed in front of the Selangor state secretariat building.

He said the decision by the state government to shift the Hindu temple from Section 19 to Section 23 had caused concern that cut across political affiliations and prompted residents to protest.

The protest, which allegedly saw some demonstrators stamping and spitting on the cow’s head, has been condemned by most political and religious leaders.

Hishammuddin said investigations would continue but might take time because police would also have to look into the 50 reports lodged over the incident.

“The police will also look into the use of blogs and websites to incite the Hindus to protest and riot over the incident.

“I view attempts like this as serious because in matters related to race and religion, a situation can turn ugly in a blink of an eye and threaten peace and harmony,” he told a press conference after receiving a memorandum from the Pertubuhan Pribumi Perkasa Malaysia (Perkasa) proposing items to be included in the review of the Internal Security Act (ISA).

Among the suggestions by Perkasa are that an Internal Security Council be formed with members that included representatives from bodies like the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam), and that any detention under the Act only be carried out with its approval -- thus taking the power to decide on detentions out of the sole power of the Home Minister.

Hishammuddin, who personally received the memorandum from Perkasa president Datuk Ibrahim Ali, commended Perkasa’s move to engage in discussions over the review of the ISA.

He called on any party which had suggestions for the review to follow Perkasa’s example and said that the ministry would also seek views on the matter from the Bar Council, Suhakam and Amnesty International before it is tabled at the Dewan Rakyat, possibly during its October sitting.

Related Stories: MIC Youth prays for racial harmony Our protest was hijacked, say residents Hisham:Create racial tension and you’ll pay dearly Former MB denies taking part in protest against temple relocation Selangor slams ‘intolerant’ protest Protesters have been identified

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