Police reports lodged against 'cross' protesters

GEORGE TOWN: Two police reports were lodged in Penang against the group that protested outside a shoplot church in Taman Medan, Petaling Jaya on Sunday.

Law student and human rights activist K. Sudhagaran Stanley, 30, who lodged the report at the Patani Road police station, condemned the actions of the group saying it provoked religious harmony in the country.

“The action of the protestors went against the freedom of religion and a violation of the Federal Constitution which accorded for all religions to be practiced in peace and harmony.

“It makes no sense to argue that a church or its symbol or even other non-Muslim places of worship should not be present in a Muslim-majority area.

“If that was the reasoning, then no non-Muslim places or worship should exist in Malaysia,” he told reporters outside the police station.

He urged the police to take swift action against the protestors, adding that there was no need to use the Sedition Act as there were enough laws under the Penal Code to charge them for disturbing a religious assembly and causing disharmony, disunity or feelings of enmity on grounds of religion.

At the Seberang Perai police station, law lecturer Shamsher Singh Thind, 36, lodged a report over the constitutional right of Malaysians to practice their religion.

He said the issue of a church being allowed to operate should be dealt with by the local council not by threatening to take down a cross.

“We hope the IGP (Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar) can take action while it’s still a small and isolated case," he said, adding that no action on the incident would only create a precedent.

The group of about 50 residents held placards calling for the church to stop operating in the Malay-majority neighbourhood and demanding that the cross on the shoplot be removed.