What are the Barbs Doing?

Sunday August 10, 2008
Bar Council Forced to Stop Forum Early

KUALA LUMPUR: The Bar Council went ahead with its controversial forum on Conversion To Islam yesterday, but was forced to stop it about an hour after it began following advice from the police and noisy intervention by protesters.

Former Suhakam commissioner and activist Mehrun Siraj was applauded by the 200 people at the forum when she said she was there because she believed that conflicts between Muslims and non-Muslims should be resolved through open discussion.

Before she could complete her second statement, five men representing Umno, PKR, PAS and Malay / Muslim non-governmental organisations trooped into the auditorium – flanked by policemen – at 9.53am, and shouted for the meeting to end immediately although council chairman Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan had announced at 9.30am that it would end at 10am at the request of the police.

The protesters included Malaysian Islamic Propagation and Welfare Organisation supreme council member Mohd Syahrir Abdul Aziz, Federation of Malay Students Union vice-president Jais Abdul Karim, Kulim-Bandar Baru MP Zulkifli Nordin, and Alumni of Umno Club Overseas Students information director Mohamad Nazari Ahmad.

After some commotion, Ambiga announced at 10.04am: “We have no issue with anyone who has a different point of view. We respect everybody’s point of view. That is what the Bar Council is about; we have no quarrel with anyone. The forum is now closed.”
Unfriendly visitors: Several protesters shouting inside the hall of the Bar Council building in Lebuh Pasar Besar, Kuala Lumpur, yesterday.

The group of about 300 people from various NGOs and political parties had started gathering at about 8.20am outside the Bar Council building in Lebuh Pasar Besar here to protest the forum which they said would undermine Islam.

Holding banners and chanting, the group threatened many times to storm the building if the forum was not stopped.

About 50 policemen and Federal Reserve Unit personnel members lined themselves between the crowd and the building entrance.

At about 9.15am, Dang Wangi OCPD Asst Comm Zulkarnain Abdul Rahman told Bar Council representatives to stop the forum by 10am in the interest of safety.

Mohd Mokhtar Ghazali, who is president of the Umno-affiliated Insan Bakti Welfare Organisation, said the forum should have not been held in the first place.

He added that the protest by Malays from different political groups was to display their unhappiness on groups that allegedly wanted to question the privileges of Malays and Muslims.

Look at this. A bunch of illegal protestors shouting and howling about Islamic and Syariah rights. The Bar Council is just having a forum to discuss about the issue without provoking anyone, and what's their reaction? Jump out and bark. Shame to them.

No comments:

Post a Comment