Via Malaysia Today:
Najib: We cannot stop Friday’s protest
Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak shares the view of his Home Minister cousin Hishammuddin Hussein that Muslims are free to protest and express their views against a court decision which had allowed the Catholic newspaper Herald to use the word “Allah.”
As long as Friday’s demonstration did not spill over into something more series, Najib told reporters that the government cannot stop people from protesting over the Allah issue.
However, he said that the authorities were prepared to face any situation.
“We hope the protests will not spill over. Better still if the protest is minimal,” Najib said after opening the first 1Malaysia Clinic.
Najib said that the authorities could not stop groups from gathering at mosques and protesting there.
“As long as it doesn’t spill over into something serious, they can still express their views,” he said.
[From The Star 8 Jan 2010 – Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said Muslim groups would be allowed to carry out their protests after Friday prayers as long as they confined it to mosques.
“We cannot stop them from congregating at mosques, as long as it does not spill over into something more serious.
“The important thing is that they confine it to the mosque areas,” said Najib said after opening the first 1Malaysia Clinic in Lembah Pantai yesterday.
Najib added that the protests were allowed to continue because the Muslim groups were permitted to express their views on the “Allah” issue.
The Home Ministry had approved police permits to several Muslim groups to hold their protests in various mosques in the city centre. It is learnt that these were the Kampung Baru and Federal Territory mosques among others.
“If they became unruly, the authorities will know what to do,” Najib said.]
Hishammuddin had also stated yesterday that the government did not prohibit the people from expressing their views on the Allah issue but action will be taken if the protests affected security.
Oh… So no problem with them expressing their views, but problem with Bersih movement expressing theirs? Don’t suppose chemically-laced water cannons or shield-bashes will be used if the protests ‘spill over’?
Above is #6 from Malaysian Politics Motivational Posters.
As PM Najib said back then: “But what is the use if such demonstrations only lead to the possibility of ruining what we have built for the country?”
Will any civil servants taking part in the protests be sacked as promised?
And will some of them end up arrested under the ISA as then PM Badawi said?
UPDATE: Well, here we go then… Malaysian Churches Attacked Over ‘Allah Row’.
UPDATE: Protests at mosques peaceful so far.