Police urged to act to prevent church vandalism activities in the run-up to GE14

Ornate church interior. — DayakDaily.com file pic. // Photo: Pixabay

KUCHING, Jan 10: The Council of Churches of Malaysia (CCM) has urged the police to reinforce their efforts to act firmly against the growing trend of desecrating places of worship following the recent Kota Bahru incident.

“We call on the police to reinforce their efforts to act firmly against this growing trend, where there are people committed to disrupting inter-religious harmony by targeting religious buildings with flagrant acts of vandalism and arson.

“Such actions if left unchecked may embolden extremists and unscrupulous elements to engage in such actions in the run up to the coming national General Elections in 2018,” CCM general-secretary Rev Dr Hermen Shastri said in press statement today.

CCM was very concerned about an act of desecrating a place of worship in Kota Bahru on Jan 7 when a person threw a petrol bomb that landed on a Methodist Church building causing damage to its facade.

According to the police investigation, a person had thrown an object from the vantage point of the Sultan Yahya Petra bridge, targeting the church and a temple nearby.

CCM strongly condemned the despicable act, which was apparently motivated by extremists who are out to stoke the flames of religious intolerance in the country.

A 34-year-old suspect, a civil servant, was arrested yesterday afternoon for allegedly vandalising a church in Jalan Hamzah in Kota Baru last Sunday.

The police said that this was the second time the suspect had committed a similar act, the first being on Jan 3, adding the man claimed to have experienced hallucinations since his mother’s death last year.

On the night of the incident, the suspect had driven his wife’s car alone from his house in Pasir Mas before hurling two units of water filters towards the church. — DayakDaily