Assemble, yes, but no punching, Penang CM tells demonstrators

Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow says the Penang government offers an environment where people are free to express themselves but they must abide by the rule of law.

GEORGE TOWN: In view of two demonstrations set to take place tomorrow over Deputy Chief Minister II Prof P Ramasamy’s alleged links to a terror group, the Penang government has reminded the public that they are free to express themselves but they must not resort to violence.

Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said the demonstrators must abide by the rule of law.

“So long as they don’t fight or punch each other, the Penang government offers an environment where people are free to express themselves.

“However, I urge all those who are assembling, whether they are for or against any quarters, that they need to follow the rule of law and also respect the right of the other party to speak out,” he said today.

Chow was asked to comment on the two demonstrations taking place tomorrow after Friday prayers – one which is against Ramasamy will be held at the Masjid Jamek Simpang Enam on Jalan Macalister, and the other, which supports the deputy chief minister will be at Komtar.

Ramasamy has been targeted by several Muslim activists, including Perlis Mufti Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin, in the wake of the controversy over the government’s handling of Dr Zakir Naik, the Indian-Muslim preacher wanted by New Delhi over allegations of money laundering and spreading extremism.

He recently denied any links with the Tamil Tigers after a picture of him taking part in a meeting involving the LTTE Constitutional Affairs Committee appeared on social media.

Ramasamy said the committee was set up by the Sri Lankan government in the aftermath of a peace agreement reached between Colombo and the Tamil Tigers, adding that he had also been invited to join peace efforts in strife-torn Aceh.

A total of 52 police reports have been lodged against him, which he believes are due to his criticism of the controversial Muslim preacher.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Mujahid Yusof Rawa said yesterday that he would hold a meeting between Ramasamy and Asri, and that both had agreed to the meeting which will be held in Putrajaya.

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