Police should have protected congress, not stopped it, says Dong Jiao Zong
Police should have detained individuals threatening to disrupt a congress on teaching the Jawi script in schools, not get a court order to stop it completely, said Ng Chai Heng.
Dong Jiao Zong’s secretary-general said although the group was not satisfied with the police’s decision, it would obey it.
“We are dissatisfied the police sought a court order on the grounds that the gathering would disrupt public order.
The organisers of the cancelled Jawi conference slammed the police’s action for obtaining a court injunction to stop the congress, which was to be held today.
Dong Zong chairperson Tan Tai Kim, who read out a statement on behalf of the 17 groups who had planned to organise the Chinese Organisations Joint Conference, said they were very unhappy with the police’s action.
“We emphasise that the freedom of assembly and expression are the right of the people as enshrined in the Federal Constitution,” said Tan.
“The police should act against the individuals and groups who threatened to disrupt the conference.
“This is supposed to be the responsibility of the police, instead of abusing the legal procedures to oppress those who abide by the law.
“This is as though (the police) are abandoning the rule of law and indulge those who (continue) to instigate and threaten,” he said.
He said this after conducting a two-hour meeting among the 17 Chinese educationist groups and NGOs at a restaurant in Kajang, three kilometres away from the New Era University College, the venue for the congress.
While the groups respected the court order to call off the conference, they still held the emergency meeting at 1pm today to discuss the follow-up action.
Tan clarified that today’s meeting was only attended by the representatives from the 17 NGOs while 1,000 invitees had been expected for the cancelled conference.
Yesterday, Dong Jiao Zong was forced to call off its conference on Jawi lesson in vernacular schools after police secured a court injunction, citing security concerns.
Kajang magistrate Syahrul Sazly Mohd Sain granted the restriction order in view that there would be a breach of the peace if it allowed the meeting to proceed.
A rally to protest the congress was also cancelled. Among the groups expected to participate in the rally were Angkatan Gerak Minda Malaysia (Agra), Perkasa, and Gabungan Pelajar Melayu Semenanjung (GPMS).
Dong Jiao Zong’s intent to organise a conference was in a bid to push for Chinese school boards to be the decision-makers on whether students in vernacular schools should learn Jawi in the Bahasa Malaysia syllabus.
At present, the decision lies with parent-teacher associations and the parents.