The failure of the Bible burning fest sends a strong message for mutual respect amongst different faiths, peace and harmony to the extremists

The Penang state government records its appreciation to the Penang police and Majlis Perbandaran Seberang Perai or MPSP enforcement personnel for taking the necessary steps to frighten the extremists from carrying out their plans for a Bible burning festival in Dewan Ahmad Badawi in Butterworth yesterday. We also thank the people from both in Penang and Malaysia as well as outside Malaysia from both Muslims and non-Muslims for their prayers and support against such a vile and abhorrent act.

The failure of the Bible burning fest in Penang sends a strong message for mutual respect amongst different faiths, peace and harmony to the extremists who want not only to burn the bible but to burn down Malaysia. The Penang state government urges Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail to stop appeasing Perkasa but take action against its leaders for calling for the Bible to be burnt, that has brought us international shame.

Just because Perkasa is supported whole-heartedly by UMNO does not give Perkasa immunity from the law or the freedom to insult non-Muslims and deprive non-Malays of their basic rights. Malaysians are grateful that Muslims and Malays also reject such extremist tactics that are similar to those employed by Hitler and the Nazis in Germany before the Second World War.

Abdul Gani has shown himself to be both irresponsible and unfit for the post of Attorney-General by refusing to act against Perkasa with the ridiculous excuse that Perkasa has not yet burnt the Bible and will only act when Perkasa has done so. Does this mean when someone threatens to murder another, no action will be taken until the victim is actually murdered? This is neither justice nor respects the rule of law but simply an outrageous lawless act of protecting BN supporters to bully ordinary Malaysians.

The failure of the Attorney-General to act against Perkasa will only encourage such future acts of impunity by extremists to threaten our multi-racial society. The time has come for the BN government to draw the line by taking firm action to ensure that no one threatens any holy books of any religion.

Penang Chief Minister
Media statement by Lim Guan Eng in Komtar, George Town on Monday, 28th January 2013