Malaysiakini NEWS

Suhakam worried authorities giving in to inciters of violence

Published:  |  Modified:

The Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) has expressed concern that the authorities are giving in to inciters of violence.

This is after the Kajang police obtained a court order to prevent the United Chinese School Committees Association's (Dong Zong) congress to discuss the Jawi issue last Saturday, which was facing threats of protest from some Malay groups.

It prompted Dong Zong to abort the congress and the Malay groups likewise cancelled their protest.

Suhakam said it views seriously the actions of the state in depriving Dong Zong of their rights by cancelling the conference through a court order.

"The commission is concerned that the authorities are giving in to inciters of violence at the expense of the protection of the fundamental rights of Malaysian citizens," it said in a statement last night.

Suhakam said Dong Zong's congress and the protest against it should have been allowed to exercise their freedom of speech and assembly, with the authorities ensuring that both groups can carry out their activities peacefully.

It said this is vital for the realisation of a free and open democracy.

"Suhakam also hopes the police will fully investigate threats of violence, as they could amount to incitement to hatred, sectarian riots and threaten the rule of law in the country," it said.

Dong Zong is opposed to the implementation of three pages of Jawi lessons in the Year 4 Bahasa Malaysia textbook starting next year.

The Malay groups have taken issue as Dong Zong's uncompromising objections, despite concessions made by the Education Ministry.

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