PETALING JAYA: Malaysians may quarrel among themselves but they are not prepared to allow the exploitation of religious and ethnic differences by individuals or groups to create tension and animosity that might give rise to violence, Penang Chief Minister II P Ramasamy said.
Commenting on the arrest of controversial Muslim preacher Muhammad Zamri Vinoth Kalimuthu on Sunday, Ramasamy said what happened in New Zealand and recently in Sri Lanka are a stark reminder that religious hatred leading to violence benefits nobody.
“You don’t need 800 reports for the police to act against an individual or individuals or groups responsible for spreading inter-religious hatred and tensions in the country,” he said, in reference to reports that police had received 790 complaints against the purported follower of Muslim preacher Zakir Naik for allegedly insulting Hinduism in a lecture.
“In some instances, a mere one report will do before the police can spring into action.
“However in this case, a person who had converted to Islam and being inspired by some religious ‘scholars’ has a history of making blasphemous statements against Hinduism, the faith of his parents and grandparents.
“Emboldened by support from some quarters, he thought he would be able to get away in making nasty comments about Hinduism,” he said.
Ramasamy added that apparently there were earlier police reports against Zamri for in engaging unlawful activities.