Student rally against Muhammadiyah`s anti-smoking edict, 25/03/10

Malang, E Java (ANTARA News) – A group of youths representing Muhammadiyah-owned university students demonstrated here Wednesday to demand the reviewing of Muhammadiyah`s edict against smoking.
The edict declaring smoking “haram” (forbidden to Muslims) was issued recently by the legislative council of the second largest Muslim mass oragnization in the country.

In their protest held at Malang city`s town square, one of the students` spokesmen, Ruly, said the anti-smoking edict must be reviewed because it would affect the livelihoods of thousands of people working in the tobacco industry which consisted of small, medium and big enterprises.

He said the rally was also held to show to the public that the All-Indonesia Student Executive Board of Muhammadiyah Institutes of Higher Learning (BEM-PTM) opposed the anti-smoking edict, and was asking that it be reconsidered.

The group of tens of BEM-PTM activists rallied at Malang`s city suare after a one-km march from the outer compound of the Gajayana Sports Stadium.

On their way to the Merdeka town square, the students carried banners and gave out flyers expressing three aspirations: dismantling of the “neo-liberal” regime, reform of the bureaucracy and the reviewing of the edict against smkoking.

In their orations, the demonstrators also demanded firm government action against judicial mafias and the speedy and conclusive settlement of the Bank Century case.
“If these issues cannot be settled conclusively soon, the people will surely lose all their trust in the government and law enforcement agencies,” they said. (*)

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