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Published: Sunday January 10, 2010 MYT 12:10:00 PM
Updated: Sunday January 10, 2010 MYT 7:30:36 PM

Two arson bids in Taiping, black paint hurled at Malacca church (Update 3)

TAIPING: Two cases of attempted arson were reported here involving a church and a school. And black paint was splashed on the outer wall of a Malacca church.

The locations affected on Sunday were the All Saints' Church at Jalan Taming Sari and SMK Convent along Jalan Convent. In Malacca, it was the Malacca Baptist Church in Durian Daun.

The staircase leading to the Taiping church was slightly burned while the Molotov cocktail thrown into the school failed to explode.

Perak CPO Deputy Comm Datuk Zulkifli Abdullah said the bottle, however, shattered the window of the guard post located at the compound, which also houses a church.

He added police have beefed up security at places of worship in the state and urged the people to remain calm.

“We are investigating the matter and hope the public do not send out SMSes that can cause unnecessary tension and fear,” he added when contacted.

“This is the work of opportunists and not by extremist groups.”

Meanwhile, the All Saints' Church pastor Rev Joshua Ong told reporters that he saw the black patches when he was opening the premise at 7am in preparation for its service an hour later on Sunday.

Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein, meanwhile said the situation was under control.

“It is under control and not as exaggerated by the foreign media, SMSes and the Internet,” he told reporters after Umno’s Juara Rakyat programme in Hulu Selangor.

He said the incidents were not coordinated and were isolated.

He added he would study the use of all existing laws and the Internal Security Act would only be used as a last resort.

In Malacca, police said that surveillance of houses of worship would be stepped up.

Meanwhile, Deputy Inspector General of Police Tan Sri Ismail Omar said the two attempted arson attacks at church and school in Taiping and the vandalism at the Durian Daun church in Malacca are being investigated thoroughly.

“I assure the public that we have increased our presence at churches and mosques as well as other places of worship and will do everything within our means to bring to book those responsible.

“These are works of opportunists and we hope the public will not resort to any unhealthy measures as it will make matters worse,’’ he said.

Ismail also appealed to the public to stop sending out SMSes that could confuse the people and warned that stern action would be taken against anyone sending out such unfounded messages.

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