Saturday, December 4

Street protests an assault on the rights of the majority —Dr M

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KUALA LUMPUR: The culture of street demonstrations that is constantly being upheld by certain quarters to display their dissatisfaction is an assault on the rights of the majority, said former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

He said this was because the act of ‘going to the streets’ was only the voice of certain minorities or individuals which affect the majority who bear the negative effects.

“For instance, when demonstrations like these affect other people’s businesses, this means we have infringed on their rights.

This should not happen,” he told reporters after launching a national forum on the book ‘Hak Asasi Kemanusiaan Dalam Tradisi Islam’ (Basic Human Rights in the Islamic Tradition) at Pusat Islam here yesterday.

Dr Mahathir also gave the example of the demonstrations in Bangkok, Thailand, which were becoming critical and paralysing businesses and affecting the income sources of the majority of traders.

He also stressed that there should be balanced basic rights as the emphasis solely on the individual and minority groups would destroy the peace of the nation.

Dr Mahathir also urged all parties not to follow the western way of thinking that places importance purely on the freedom and rights of the individual as the concept of freedom had its limits.

“The reality is that freedom has its limits because the interests of the majority should also be protected without infringing on the rights of the minority,” he said.

Dr Mahathir also stressed that the use of the word ‘Allah’ was the exclusive right of Muslims and attempts by certain quarters to use it in Peninsular Malaysia were because of their own agendas.

“Before the arrival of Islam, the word Allah was never used in the Bible, in any Bible, in any language,” he said.

He said after the arrival of Islam, the term was used by certain parties to attract the attention of the people to accept Christianity. — Bernama