KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 6 — The police should be given the room it needs to fully investigate the vandalism incident at the St Anne’s Church in Penang yesterday, said Deputy Youth and Sports Minister Steven Sim.
Sim, who is the MP for Bukit Mertajam where the church is located, said he contacted both the parish priest and the district police chief to confirm the incident.
“We will leave it to the police to investigate and take further action. Let us not speculate on the matter,” he wrote on Facebook.
According to the Free Malaysia Today news portal, a man entered the church compound yesterday and proceeded to deface a statue there using a can of spray paint.
He did this in view of others, including a security guard to whom he gave a written note before leaving on a motorcycle.
Police are investigating the case under Section 427 of the Penal Code for mischief that is punishable by up to five years’ imprisonment, a fine, or both.
Malaysia experiences religious polarisation as religion is one of the main platforms for local political parties.
The politicisation of religion resulted in Malaysia becoming the only country in the world where the word “Allah” may not be legally used in a non-Muslim context.
According to the Department of Statistics, Christians account for just 9.2 per cent of the population but the group remain regularly accused of seeking to subvert the government for their interests.
Sim was a recent victim of such an allegation from PAS’s Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man, who accused the DAP man of advocating for a Christian administration while speaking at a church forum.