KUALA LUMPUR, April 24 ― The police will respond to any cry for help from the Taman Medan church, Selangor police chief Datuk Abdul Samah Mat said today after a pastor voiced concern for the safety of his congregation following last Sunday’s cross protest.
Abdul Samah said the Petaling Jaya police chief has been asked to liaise with the Taman Medan church, and gave his assurance that the police will “act accordingly” if contacted by the church.
“I told the OCPD to collaborate with the church. In case they need any assistance, they will let us know,” he told Malay Mail Online when contacted today.
Yesterday, a pastor of the Taman Medan church reportedly sought for protection from the police on behalf of his congregation.
According to news portal Malaysiakini, the pastor expressed fear in his report to the police, particularly due to the angry reaction of one protester, and asked that enforcers be present at the church vicinity in the Muslim-majority neighbourhood.
The police are currently investigating the demonstration and have reportedly interviewed 12 individuals ― namely 10 protesters, the church pastor and Taman Lindungan Jaya Umno branch chief Datuk Abdullah Abu Bakar.
Abdullah, who is also the brother of Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar, was called in for questioning on Wednesday over his role as mediator during the protest.
During the protest last Sunday, some 50 Muslim residents of Taman Medan urged the newly-opened church to take down the cross it had affixed to its facade, claiming it is a challenge to Muslims in the area and could influence youths.
Police reportedly arrived shortly after the protest, while the church removed the cross several hours later.
The Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) later declared the church illegal as it has not applied for a permit to operate as a house of worship but this was contradicted shortly after by the Selangor administration.
However, despite the Selangor government's assurance and advice to return the cross to its original site, a check by Malay Mail Online at the church premise on Wednesday revealed that it has yet to replace the symbol.
This Sunday morning, the Malaysians for Malaysia group is expected to give out flowers and hold a solidarity gathering outside the church, with the intention to promote religious understanding.