KEPALA BATAS: Police have warned the public against joining a rally against controversial preacher Zakir Naik, planned at a Hindu temple in Butterworth on Sunday.
North Seberang Prai district police chief ACP Azmi Adam said gathering without a permit was illegal and those involved could be penalised as it violated the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012.
“A temple committee member sent a notice on May 12 informing us that they are planning to hold a rally or mass protest at the temple against preacher Zakir Naik.
“The police rejected the application because it violates the Peaceful Assembly Act to hold a rally in a place of worship, and there are also protests from non-governmental organisations (NGOs) who voiced their concerns that if the rally continues, it will lead to chaos and racial tension,” he said at a press conference here today.
On Monday, three Penang NGOs urged the police to take action against Hindraf for allegedly attempting to incite the Indian community in the state to organise mass protests at a Hindu temple in Butterworth on Sunday.
Penang Dakwah Islamiah Welfare organisation (Pekida) chairman Mohd Hilme Ibrahim, who represented the three NGOs, said the planned protest at 4.30pm was against Naik.
Azmi said police would take stern action against the organisers and members of the public who attended the rally, but would allow it if they wished to pray at the temple.
“Three banners hung in Seberang Perai Utara, Seberang Perai Tengah and Seberang Perai Selatan since Friday to inform the public about the rally have also been taken down,” he said.
He added that police had received two reports from NGOs protesting against the rally. -FMT