Damai: Rallies will bring suffering

NST, 16 December, 2007
PETALING JAYA: The operative word is Damai (peace). Yesterday, representatives of Damai Malaysia, a coalition of 395 non-governmental organisations, said Malaysia would suffer from conflict brought about by street demonstrations.

Bukit Bintang Hotels and Traders Association adviser Senator Datuk Dr Lee Chong Meng said hotels and other businesses had suffered between 15 to 20 per cent in losses due to recent street demonstrations.
He urged people with grouses to air them within the ambit of the law.
“They can submit their petition quietly. After all, I think our leaders are very reasonable people and will listen to them,” he said after handing over Damai Malaysia’s memorandum to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi yesterday.
Malaysian Association of Youth Councils representative Nihal Nissanka said the instigators of the demonstrations wanted to play on the people’s emotions for support.
“I admit there are divisions within the Indian community here in Malaysia and that some people are not happy with the current leaders, but there are other ways to show dissatisfaction instead of holding rallies.”
Hindu Youth Organisation Cheras branch vice-president S. Ariivazhagan said the Hindu Rights Action Force did not represent Malaysian Indians.
“I find it offensive that they used the term ‘Hindu’ for carrying out illegal activities. To the outside world, it may seem as though our religion is being persecuted here. This is not true.”