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Friday, 10 January 2014 | MYT 8:38 PM

PJ Utara MCA: City Council too hasty in "checking" Bible Society

PETALING JAYA: Petaling Jaya Utara MCA criticised the Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) for trying to enter The Bible Society of Malaysia on the pretext of checking for illegal renovations and extensions.

Its advisor Datuk Dr Wong Sai Hou said that as a city council, MBPJ should act as a “third-tier government” and not have acted in haste.

“Anticipating queries from the Selangor Exco, in a knee jerk reaction, MBPJ proceeded to update the status of BSM building on Jan 7.

“They were worried they would have to provide all the answers to Selangor Exco,” he told a press conference on Friday.

BSM had claimed that MBPJ officers had ill-intentions when they went to BSM in Damansara Kim on Jan 7 to check for illegal renovations and extensions.

In response, MBPJ assistant public relations officer Zainun Zakaria said the two women technicians from the council’s buildings department had gone to BSM in response to a complaint from a neighbour.

“Allegations of harassment is wrong, as both technicians did not enter the premises or even speak in a harsh manner,” said Zainun.

Dr Wong, a former MBPJ councillor, however, pointed out the need for MBPJ to remain independent regardless of the government in power.

He said it was “unusual” that the Exco was not kept in the loop of Jais' (Selangor Islamic Religious Department) raiding of BSM and taking away 300 Bibles in Bahasa Malaysia and Iban languages.

“The council should have the courtesy to give notice to BSM on its visit. MBPJ officers will not do such checks on the spot unless it is due to illegal trading,” he said.

Dr Wong said MBPJ should instead focus on sustainable development and improving Petaling Jaya’s liveable city ranking.

“They should continue to improve the city and have better liaison with the people,” he said.

Petaling Jaya Utara MCA deputy chairman Ch’ng Soo Chau pointed out that after the 2011 raid by Jais on the Damansara Utama Methodist Church, the state government had promised that such actions would not recur.

"And yet less than two years, it happened again,” he said.

The raid on Aug 3, 2011, sparked controversy when Jais claimed there were attempts to proselytise Muslims who attended a thanksgiving dinner at the church in Petaling Jaya.


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