'Silent majority has spoken'

The Star. Thursday December 13, 2007
PETALING JAYA: Damai Malaysia, an umbrella body comprising 395 non-governmental organisations representing nearly 1.5 million members, handed over a memorandum to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

The memorandum criticised recent illegal street demonstrations, which Damai said had caused problems and created tension among Malaysia’s multiracial population.
Upon receiving the memorandum, Abdullah said that illegal street demonstrations were not part of our culture or way of life.
“We have progressed because we have been able to maintain democratic institutions which respect the law, while the people have enjoyed the fruits of peace and political stability.
“If freedom cannot be respected and used in a responsible manner, the people themselves will be at the losing end.
“As can be seen from today’s memorandum, the people who remained silent have now stood up to make their stand.
“They want peace to be maintained,” he told reporters after receiving the memorandum.
Damai Malaysia representatives also included those from 75 Chinese-based and 20 Indian groups and associations.
In the joint-declaration read by Damai chairman Mohd Saiful Adil Mohd Daud, members expressed their disgust at street demonstrations, and the use of religious and racial issues to create hatred among Malaysians.
They also condemned individuals and groups who used lies and slander against the country and asked for foreign intervention into Malaysia’s internal affairs, he said.
Damai advisor and Bukit Bintang MCA chief Senator Datuk Dr Lee Chong Meng said the Bersih and Hindraf illegal demonstrations last month had caused tourists to avoid Malaysia.
Cheras Hindu Youth Organisation vice-president S. Ariivazhagan expressed disappointment that Hindraf had used religion to protest.