LANGKAWI, Aug 13 (Bernama) -- Street protests can cause not only tension to the local community, but potentially ruin inter-racial harmony in the country, Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein said.
"What has happened lately is saddening and the public are actually already tired of it. They can no longer accept it because it is not part of our religious and cultural values," he told reporters after closing a Terengganu Wanita Umno course here, Thursday.
He said street demonstrations were part of a negative culture introduced by certain parties who wanted power without going through the proper democratic process.
Hishammuddin was commenting on the tense standoff between the residents of Kampung Buah Pala in Penang and the developer who tried to demolish 23 houses in the village to make way for a development project today.
However, attempts by workers and contractors to enter the village between 11am and 1pm today were impeded by villagers who formed a human barricade along Jalan Kaki Bukit, about 100 metres from the entrance to the village.
He said that when an issue was mixed up with racial and religious issues and the leaders did not handle the matter wisely, the people would become the victims.
In line with that, he said, all parties should cooperate in tackling the problem and not leave it on the shoulders of the authorities.
Hishammuddin said street demonstrations also put an extra load on the authorities who had to allocate a large part of its manpower to monitor the area.
"If this is the case, the police won't be able to do much else, how are they to monitor other crimes?
"People must see this as not our culture. In a multi-racial country, if we don't take a stand and try to follow western culture like this, I am worried we will destroy the community we have just built 52 years ago," he said. -- BERNAMA