Anti-ISA street demo was unnecessary and a burden to people

(The Star) PEKAN: Those arrested for taking part in the anti-Internal Security Act (ISA) protest yesterday will just have to face the music as they had already been warned, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

“I have said before that the ISA is being reviewed and we are also in the process of discussions and getting feedback from various groups.

“As such, the demonstration was unnecessary, and only caused hardship to the people.

“I have been informed of complaints by the public who were caught in the traffic jams caused by the rally.

“It was difficult for them to go from one point to another,’’ he told reporters after launching Astro Kasih, a corporate social responsibility programme by Astro, in Kampung Ketapang Tengah here yesterday.

Najib, who is also Pekan MP, added that the rally was politically motivated and senseless.

He said since the protesters were stubborn enough to proceed with the rally, they would have to deal with any action taken by the police.

“We had advised them but if they refused to listen, what can I do? We will leave it to the police,’’ he added.

Earlier, in his speech at the closing of a forum here on academic excellence in secondary religious schools in Pahang, Najib said such schools were doing much better now compared with those in the 1960s and were getting more attention from the Government.

He said this was because the Government was aware of the importance of having the best of both worlds — Islamic as well as academic studies.

“Products of these schools will not only have a sound religious education but will also excel in other academic subjects.

“We will have engineers, doctors and lawyers with a sound religious background and whose morals are unquestionable,’’ he added.

He said that such a group would be multi-lingual, of a multi-discipline and could multi-task. This, he added, was in line with one of the targets for the six National Key Result Areas — widening access to affordable and quality education.

Najib also said good relations between the state and federal governments would ensure efficiency in running religious secondary schools, as allocations to manage them came from the state’s coffers, which were normally insufficient.

On this, he assured the schools’ administrators that the Government would provide allocations when required.