PR Penang State Government shall focus on real challenges of taking a united stand against extreme religious and racial provocations

The PR Penang state government shall not engage with BN’s destructive politics of lies but focus on real challenges of strengthening peace and harmony amongst Penangites in taking a united stand in the face of extreme religious and racial provocations. Perkasa had issued an inflammatory threat to burn the Bible in their annual general meeting opened by former UMNO President Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, which was then followed by a pamphlet distributed by unknown parties calling for a Bible burning festival this Sunday in Butterworth.

The Penang PR state government has made our point in objecting to Gerakan’s Penang Run organised with federal government agencies on Thaipusam Day. A government should not organise an event on Thaipusam Day as it is insensitive and disrespectful to a religious occasion of Hindus celebrated as a public holiday. We have also clarified to Hindus wrongly blaming the state government’s involvement, that it is not organised by the state government because the words “Penang Run” was used without the state government’s approval.

PR State Government Had Never Prevented Events Using The Word Penang Including Penang Starwalk.

In trying to distract attention from their failure to be sensitive and respectful to Indians, BN media puppets such as The Star and Gerakan are now trying to distort my explanation of the words Penang Run not getting state approval into that I had banned the usage of the word Penang. Clearly the Star lied as the Penang state government had never banned events that used the word “Penang”, organised without state government’s approval.

Even the Star had organised Penang Starwalk yearly without any trouble since 2008. The fact that no event using the word Penang was banned is sufficient proof for the people to know who the liars are.

Instead the Penang state government will focus on issues of national importance as Penang will be center of national and international attention on whether the Bible burning festival will take place as planned on Sunday in Dewan Ahmad Badawi in Butterworth. The Penang state government will do all it can to ensure this vile and abhorrent act that is a sacrilege to religious respect and freedom is not allowed to take place.

I have directed the MPSP Yang di Pertua Puan Maimunah binte Mohd Shariff to ensure that no one enters the MPSP-owned Dewan Ahmad Badawi to conduct such open burning of the Bible or of any other documents. I have also written to the Penang CPO to request full assistance and take all security steps necessary to ensure that the image and dignity of Penang is protected to ensure that such shameful acts are not allowed to happen which will not only disgrace Penang but also Malaysia.

In the meantime, I urge all peace-loving Malaysians, Muslim and non-Muslim to pray together for peace, harmony, religious respect and goodwill to prevail this Sunday.

Penang Chief Minister
Media statement by Lim Guan Eng in George Town on Thursday, 24th January 2013