The Muslim Youth Movement of Malaysia (ABIM) urges Malaysians of all races and religions to remain calm following street protests by a group Indian Malaysians led by Hindu Rights Action Force (HINDRAF) on Sunday.
ABIM notes with deep concern that some of the actions and contents of various documents issued by HINDRAF, in substance and wordings constitute extreme, exagerated and sensationalised allegations implicating the Muslim community in one way or another. The use of terms and expressions such as “ethnic cleansing”, “permanent colonization” of Indian Malaysians by ” Islamic extremists” “Malay gangs” and the like is clearly racially and religiously unjustified, seditious and borders on the subversive.
However, we believe that this should not be the basis for any unwarranted reactions from the Muslim community. We believe that although there may be grievances amongst the Indian community, the majority of our peace-loving Indian friends and mainstream Hindu organizations do not harbor ill will or undue enmity against the Muslims and are also not agreeable to the manner, style and approach erstwhile adopted by HINDRAF. We would also like to reaffirm our solidarity with the poor and marginalized amongst the Indian community and other races in this country and urge the government and all parties to undertake continuous effort to improve their livelihood.
Let us all be reminded that issues involving racial and religious interests in our multi-communal society are very delicate, sensitive and potentially explosive. Those who are fighting for racial and religious interests should learn from our past history that such issues, if not carefully handled, may cause tensions to flare up. When emotions are left unchecked and the communal temperature is too high, there’s no guarantee that public order and safety can be maintained.
ABIM condemns all forms of racial and and religious extremism and urges peace-loving Malaysians not to take actions that may jeopardize peace, harmony, public order and safety in the country. Although the freedom of assembly and expression are recognised fundamental rights under our Constitution and should generally be exercisable by all citizens, the relevant authorities should be allowed to regulate the exercise of such rights taking into account the circumstances of each case. At the same time we urge the police to observe due restraint and be reasonable in exercising their discretion in handling the situation. We also believe that the current situation is such that it is very irresponsible and dangerous for anyone to manipulate this issue to fan racial sentiments for any political or ulterior agendas.