KUALA LUMPUR, April 20 — Barisan Nasional (BN) component parties MCA and Gerakan have blamed both Umno as well as the Selangor government for allowing the Taman Medan church protest to take place yesterday, saying that the actions of the protesters were detrimental to the path of moderation espoused by the ruling coalition.
MCA Religious Bureau Chairman Datuk Seri Ti Lian Ker said Umno’s alleged involvement in the protest will “damage the good work” of other BN component parties and that this will lead to extremism if no action is taken.
“It is time all component parties put their house in order as we cannot afford individual members actions or words that will damage the good work of others.
“I call upon IGP to investigate this travesty immediately irrespective of whether the perpetrators are from Umno, PAS or PKR,” he said in a statement.
“For BN to win, component parties must be mindful of their actions that may affect other component parties adversely.
“All thuggish, brutish actions or crude or rude statements against the spirit of BN policies and practices must be stopped immediately if BN wants to survive the next GE collectively and not only one party wins at the expense of others,” the MCA leader added.
But Gerakan’s Tan Keng Liang said the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) Selangor government should be blamed for the protest, as the incident took place in the state.
“We urge the Selangor state government to look into this issue immediately and uphold the principles of Freedom of Religion under Article 11 of the Federal Constitution.
“Mentri Besar of Selangor YAB Azmin Ali should resolve this issue without any further delay,” Tan said in a statement.
The Selangor administration has expressed dissatisfaction at the group of protesters who reportedly demanded that a church in Taman Medan remove the crucifix it had hung on its facade.
According to The Star Online, Mentri Besar Azmin Ali pointed out that to Christians, the cross is a sacred symbol and forcing its removal is disrespectful to the community.
“To force them to remove the symbol is certainly unacceptable and disrespectful to the Christian community,” Azmin was quoted telling reporters after this morning’s monthly meeting with state civil servants.
Yesterday, it was reported that around 50 residents of Taman Medan staged a protest against a new church in the area for putting up a crucifix on its facade.
The group claimed that putting up a crucifix in a Malay-majority area is a challenge to Islam and could influence young Muslims.
Police arrived about 30 minutes after the protest began to act as intermediaries between the protesters and church leaders.
It is understood that the church took down the cross several hours later.