Council of Churches Malaysia condemns New Year ‘water bomb’ attack

Picture shows the residue and leftovers of the ‘water bomb’ explosive that left three people injured after it went off at the Luther Centre in Petaling Jaya, January 1, 2018. — Picture courtesy of Royal Malaysian Police
Picture shows the residue and leftovers of the ‘water bomb’ explosive that left three people injured after it went off at the Luther Centre in Petaling Jaya, January 1, 2018. — Picture courtesy of Royal Malaysian Police

PETALING JAYA, Jan 3 —  The Council of Churches Malaysia (CCM) today expressed shock over the ‘water bomb’ attack that left three people injured after it went off at the Luther Centre here on New Year’s day.

“CCM strongly condemns the actions of those who were behind this, the attack took place when people were holding a midnight worship to greet the New Year,” said CCM secretary-general Rev Dr Hermen Shastri in statement.

He said police investigations so far suggest the incident was caused by a group of Mat Rempits and was not motivated by religious hate.

“We urge police to intensify their investigations and take stern actions to curb the Mat Rempit menace, before other similar incidents occur causing danger to innocent pedestrians, or even worse, target religious places with greater frequency,” he added.

CCM also requested for the police to increase patrols at religious places during festivals and public holidays.

In the incident, a Zimbabwean and two others were injured after they were hit by debris from the ‘water bomb’ which was improvised from fireworks.  

Petaling Jaya police chief Assistant Commissioner Mohd Zani Che Din said the incident was believed to have stemmed from an altercation involving a group of Mat Rempits on eight motorcycles who had been pursued by several members of a rival group prior to the explosions.

Police had ruled out sabotage on the church as the incident coincidentally took place in front of the church where two explosives were thrown, one landed on the road shoulder and one inside the entrance.

A “water bomb” functions similarly to firecrackers, but is water resistant and can be lit underwater. Detonating one inside a body of water amplifies the resultant shockwave.

Witnesses told police they were unable to describe the suspects or provide a clear account of the incident as it took place suddenly and in dark surroundings.

No arrests have been made so far. 

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