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Published: Tuesday January 28, 2014 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Updated: Tuesday January 28, 2014 MYT 9:28:42 AM

PM calls for calm over Penang church attack

KUALA LUMPUR: All parties must remain calm and not react hastily towards the Molotov cocktail attack on a church in Penang, said Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

The Prime Minister said he will ask for action to be taken to combat any behaviour that can be deemed provocative and affect the peace between the various races and religions.

“As the Government, peace and harmony is our priority and we will do what we can to preserve it based on the rule of law.

“Any action to be taken must be done according to the rule of law. I hope that nobody will react hastily and make matters worse as it is up to the authorities to handle the situation,” Najib told reporters after launching the “Maps of Malaya and Borneo: Discovery, Statehood and Progress” book at the Concorde Hotel here yesterday.

He was commenting on the attack on the Church of the Assumption in Lebuh Farquhar, Penang, where two Molotov cocktails were thrown into the church compound at about 1.30am early yesterday morning.

The church was attacked after a controversial banner with the word “Allah” was found outside the building. The church had denied putting up the banner.

Najib said everybody should leave it to the authorities to investigate and not make assumptions as the people behind the attack were still unknown.

On Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s call for a national consensus on fundamental issues, Najib said he would discuss with the Cabinet on this matter.

“Regardless of everything, the most important matter is we want our country to be peaceful.

“No matter what our political inclinations may be, we must abide by the law and care for the sensitivities of the various communities and religions,” he said.

Najib said when he proposed for national reconciliation after the 13th general election, one of the conditions was that everyone must respect the decision made by the rakyat.

“However, the Opposition did not accept the election results and even held a rally. They also accused us with lies including that we sent in 40,000 Bangladeshis as voters. All these are baseless allegations,” he said.

On the usage of the word Allah by non-Muslims, he said states with religious enactments and laws regarding the usage of the word will supercede the Government’s 10-point solution on the matter.

“However, for states like Sabah and Sarawak which do not have such enactments, the 10-point solution is applied,” he said.

On the resignation of Kajang assemblyman Lee Chin Cheh, which is speculated to pave the way for Anwar to become Selangor Mentri Besar, Najib said: “You will have to ask the Opposition.”

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Tags / Keywords: Government, najib, peace, church

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