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PUTRAJAYA: Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein today praised organisers of separate demonstrations by Umno and Pas in Kuala Lumpur for cooperating with authorities to ensure their protests went on peacefully.
Umno supporters demonstrated outside Masjid Jamek Kampung Baru after Friday prayers, while Pas followers gathered outside the US Embassy.
The demonstrations were to protest against an anti-Islam video and a satifical cartoon of Prophet Muhammad in a French magazine, which had sparked anger among Muslims and violent protests in several countries.
Hishammuddin said in earlier discussions, both organisers accepted the authorities’ advise of not having a joint assembly due to the risks involved.
"Their rational thinking resulted in what we saw today, where they made their voices heard, made their stand very clear and later dispersed in an orderly manner.
"I am happy that they were able to protest peacefully without jeapordising the safety of Malaysians and not tarnishing the image of the people and the country," he said after a meeting with the Public Institute of Higher Learning Police Volunteer Corp (Suksis) dan Public Institute of Higher Learning Civil Defence Volunteer Corp (Sispa).
He said the ministry's aim was to balance between people's rights, freedom of expression, national security and public order.
"It is not an easy task to handle...which is why it is necessary for us to engage with the organisers as we cannot let what happened in Libya - where the demonstration started peacefully and ended with the murder of the US ambassador - to be repeated here," he said.