The Bar Council’s persistence in going ahead with a forum on conversion to Islam has triggered extreme reaction from certain quarters, which in turn would threaten the country’s harmony.
Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said he had expected the extreme reaction to occur as the council ignored advice to call off the forum.
“We had expected this to happen. I’ve already said this before, don’t make it an open forum, do it behind closed doors. There will surely be some form of extreme reaction that will occur (if it was held openly).
“We’ve expected the incident to happen because the issue that was to be discussed is sensitive,” he said after launching the Federation of Malay Economic Bodies (Gabem) exhibition and convention at the PWTC here yesterday.
New development: Zikay Group managing director Datuk Mohd Khay Ibrahim (left) showing Najib the model of a 38-storey building which will be built in Kampung Baru during the Gabem exhibition and convention at the PWTC in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.
Najib was commenting on the abrupt conclusion of the Bar Council’s controversial forum on conversion to Islam on Saturday, in which groups of protesters held a noisy gathering outside the Council’s headquarters demanding that the organisers stop the function.
Asked if the Internal Security Act would be used against the forum’s organisers, he said that would be up to the police and Home Ministry.
Najib also said that the basic pillars of the Constitution should be accorded full respect if Malaysians wanted to live peacefully and harmoniously.
He added that Malaysians of different races should respect the sensitivities of each racial group and the basic tenets of the Constitution.
“As a society comprising different races, Malaysians have displayed the spirit of tolerance and respect to the other races.
“If we try to dissect or argue against the basic terms that was agreed upon in the Constitution, then it will surely cause endless arguments which can affect our country’s peace and stability,” he added.