Press Statement – 1st June 2012
We refer to the two “protests” outside Dato’ Ambiga Sreenevasan’s home recently.
In the first so-called protest, a man alleging that he was a burger stall vendor who had lost business because of the Bersih 3.0 rally opened his stall outside of Dato’ Ambiga’s house and gave away approximately 200 burgers, including those made of beef.
It is also a well-known fact that Dato’ Ambiga is a Hindu and a life-long vegetarian. For these men to carry out this exercise, and to then add insult to injury by offering a burger to her, is the height of insensitive behaviour.
Malaysians must be allowed to protest, but those who protest must, we believe, take great pains to do so in a manner that does not incite racial or religious disharmony.
The Prime Minister must immediately denounce the burger stall vendor and all who assisted or participated in this event. Is it part of 1Malaysia for Malaysians to offer foods to others when they know (or ought to know) that the eating of such food is against the religious or cultural precepts of the recipient?
In the other so-called protest, a group of army veterans put on a lewd and totally indecent show outside the family home of Dato’ Ambiga. Again, the police did nothing to stop them nor to control their acts of public nuisance and public indecency. All religions abhor such indecent acts.
Both these so-called “protests” outside Dato’ Ambiga’s house were not, to our minds, legitimate expressions of opinion and protest.
The Prime Minister and all those in the government must clearly and unequivocally condemn those who took part in these acts of intimidation and inform them that such protests, especially outside the home of a private citizen, is wholly and utterly unacceptable and unethical.
A genuine assembly calling for reform is totally different from a targeted attack against a private citizen at her family home in a manner clearly meant to offend her religious sensitivities or in a lewd and indecent manner.
We also learn of reports of others now wishing to make similar protests outside the homes of public officials. We urge them to desist from doing so. Let us keep official business and one’s private life separate, and respect the dignity of the person, the family and the home.
When we protest, we should do so with decorum, peaceably and in the spirit of harmony and true national unity.
Daozhang Tan Hoe Chieow, AMS – President
Sardar Jagir Singh – Deputy President
Venerable Sing Kan – Vice President
Reverend Dr. Thomas Philips – Vice President
Mr. RS. Mohan Shan, JMW,AMK,BKM,PJK – Vice President
Mr. Prematilaka KD Serisena – Hon. Secretary General