'Cross' protest a new height in religious intolerance, says Sabah lawmaker

  • Nation
  • Monday, 20 Apr 2015

The protesters outside the church on Sunday

KOTA KINABALU: The authorities must act against those who demanded that a cross be removed from the Taman Medan shoplot church in order to uphold the sanctity of all religions in the country, said Sabah Special Functions Minister Datuk Teo Chee Kang.

"We cannot allow the irresponsible few to break up our nation," said Teo, the president of Barisan Nasional component party Liberal Democratic Party.

"I urge the authorities concerned to immediately intervene to uphold sanctity of all religions in the spirit of mutual respect," he added.

Teo said the "forced removal" of the cross from the shoplot "is an ugly episode" in Malaysia, where the people took pride of the harmonious co-existence of the people, cultures and religions.

"It is an affront to the freedom of religion that we enjoy under the Federal Constitution. It is unimaginable that a cross on the exterior wall of a church can be interpreted as propagating the Christian faith to Muslims," he said.

He said the incident reflected on the religious intolerance that has reached a new height.

"While Sabahans and Sarawakians can take comfort that we have no such problem over here, it affects the sentiments of the people especially that of the Christian community in the two states," he added.

A group of about 50 protested outside the church on Sunday calling for the church to be moved away from the Malay majority neighbourhood and for the cross to be taken down for fear it would influence the young.

The church leaders later removed the cross from the shoplot.

Related stories:

MCA wants action against 'cross' protesters

Protest over church's cross sign politically motivated, says Taman Medan rep

Zahid: 'Cross' protesters face action under Sedition Act

Council of Churches condemns protest on Christians' sacred symbol

IGP: 'Cross' protest not seditious or criminal 

Azmin: Forced removal of cross disrespectful to Christians

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