Sabah Barisan Nasional party: Silent majority must speak up against extremism

KOTA KINABALU - A Sabah Barisan Nasional party is appealing to the silent majority of moderate Malaysians to speak up against the growing extremism in the country perpetrated by a few religious bigots.

Upko secretary general Datuk Donald Mojuntin said a demonstration staged by a group of protesters demanding the removal of a cross at a church at Taman Medan, Selangor was the latest example of increasing religious bigotry.

"The silent majority must act now.

"We cannot be silent all the time whilst these minority propagate activities that will surely destroy the stability of our beloved country," he said yesterday.

Mojuntin added that the party believed that a majority of Malaysians irrespective of race or religion, especially those from Sabah and Sarawak, find religious bigotry and extremism unacceptable.

"Due to incitement from a relatively small number of religious bigots, religious extremism has been rearing its ugly head more and more of late," Mojuntin added.

He said it was heartening that many Malaysians including those from the Muslim community had stepped forward to condemn such bigotry.

"We hope there will be more of such unified and positive gestures by Malaysians of all walks of life from now onwards.

"Their (the extremists') actions are a far cry from the hope and intentions of the founding fathers of Malaysia," he said, adding that Upko was glad that the Prime Minister is treating the matter seriously.

"Immediate action must be taken against anyone or any group who propagate religious extremism and intolerance," he added.

Mojuntin said it was the Government's responsibility to curb the rise of fanatism before it comes to a point of no return.