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Saturday January 9, 2010

Muhyiddin leads leaders in condemning church arson

HULU SELANGOR: Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has condemned the attacks on the churches, describing them as irresponsible and provocative acts that could lead to retaliation.

“Don’t fool around on this matter because it can stoke fire and destroy peace in the country.” Muhyiddin told reporters after performing the ground-breaking ceremony for the building of the SRJK (C) Bukit Tangga in Bukit Beruntung yesterday.

“Such violence and emotional acts will not appease the situation. This is not the way to resolve the issue,” he said when asked to comment on the early morning petrol-bomb attacks on the Metro Tabernacle Church in Desa Melawati, the Assumption Church and the Life Chapel in Petaling Jaya yesterday.

In Kota Kinabalu, Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili called on Malaysians of all faiths to remain calm.

Showing concern: Khairy outside the damaged Metro Tabernacle Church in Desa Melawati Friday.

“If we let uncontrolled personal sentiments reign, the 53 years of independence and progress we have gained will go to ruins,” he said in condemning the attacks.

“The 1Malaysia concept will be an elusive dream” the Parti Bersatu Sabah deputy president said after meeting organisers of the Sabah Innovation and Design Exhibition at the Sirim office here.

Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Liew Vui Keong, who is also the Liberal Democratic Party president, said the Government must not hesitate to use the Internal Security Act against anyone threatening the nation’s peace.

In Kuala Lumpur, Wanita Umno chief Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil called on the police to act swiftly.

“It is not our culture to be terrorists. I hope this despicable act is not an orchestrated tactic to incite anger among the Christians.”

Deputy Education Minister Dr Mohd Puad Zarkashi condemned the incident, adding he believed the attacks were not carried out by Muslims upset by the High Court ruling.

Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin, who was at the church in Desa Melawati, said it was a very dark and sad day for Malaysia.

“It is a despicable act of cowardice and hatred. Places of worship be they churches, mosques or temples should not be attacked.

“If Muslims are responsible, they should be ashamed and remorseful; clearly Islam advises Muslims to respect other religious beliefs,” he said.

Social activist Datin Paduka Marina Mahathir said that it was important for Muslim Malaysians to condemn the attacks wholeheartedly.

“A small group of fanatics are trying to hijack Islam from us. The Quran says we cannot destroy places of worship,” she said, adding that most Muslims were not upset over the use of the word “Allah” in the Herald.

A visibly upset Marina, who also visited the Metro Tabernacle, called on the country’s leaders to be unequivocal about how Muslims should behave as it reflected on Islam.

In New Delhi, MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu said: “If every citizen were to take the law into their hands, they would destroy peace in the nation.”

Speaking to reporters after the opening of the 8th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas here, he said the people should let Najib make a decision on this issue as peace, unity and understanding among religious groups is more important than anything else.

Related Stories:
Hisham: We won’t compromise on security
IGP: Attacks not well-planned
Quiet protests at mosques
Najib condemns attacks
Church offered use of MCA hall
Culprits have tarnished Islam, says mufti
Vandalism is never the answer, says Khalid
Leaders of Metro Tabernacle Church forgive attackers

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