MIRI: The Sarawak United People's Party (SUPP) has urged the Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition to be united in condemning the group that had protested at a Taman Medan church in Selangor.
The SUPP, which is a BN component party, wants Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak to lead the way in condemning the protesters, said party secretary-general Datuk Sebastian Ting.
"We urge the PM in his capacity as the national BN chairman to make a clear stand and condemn the action of the group of protesters who had sparked off the incident at the Taman Medan church.
"SUPP views the incident as an act of extremism and we feel that the BN as a coalition must be united in condemning the protesters to make it clear that BN is a defender of moderation.
"The existence of a religious institution is never meant as a move to challenge other religions.
"Even before Malaysia was formed, people of all faiths have been practising their religious freedom openly without ending in confrontation with each other.
"However, there has been a rise in recent years of religious tensions caused by fanatic groups in the peninsula.
"We Sarawakians want to see the PM make a clear stance and condemn the protesters responsible for the Taman Medan incident to show that the Federal Government defends moderation and religious freedom" he said.
SUPP is of the view that the church has a right to display the cross at the church entrance.
Ting also called on the police to act against the protesters for threatening the peace.
On Sunday, a group of about 50 protesters had gathered outside a church in Taman Medan and demanded that the cross be taken down, claiming that it challenged Islam.
Some protesters also said that the existence of a church in the vicinity was an affront to their faith.
The cross was taken down by the church management several hours later.
The organisers of the protest in Taman Medan said they wanted the cross hung on the church building to be taken down to prevent racial tensions from flaring up.