The Cabinet today agreed that police must investigate the protest by a group of residents against a church in Taman Medan, and warned that action could be taken under the law.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said that the Sedition Act or other existing laws could be used against the protesters.
“The protesters should have discussed with the church, instead of taking actions that have created worry and restlessness in this multi-racial country.
“Police will investigate the group that protested in Taman Medan. If they are found to have violated any laws, action can be taken under the Sedition Act or other laws,” Najib said in a statement this evening.
“The people must abide by the country’s laws and practice respect of other religions as enshrined in the Constitution.
“We also need to have an attitude of tolerance and mutual respect among communities of different religions,” Najib said.
In the incident on Sunday, some 50 people gathered outside the new church to demand that the cross affixed to the building be removed.
The protesters said the presence of a cross in a Muslim-majority area posed a challenge to Islam and could sway the faith of youths in their community. The cross was taken down by church leaders a few hours later.
The Selangor government today announced that the church did not need to register itself with the local authorities nor did it need a permit to operate on the basis of constitutional guarantees on the freedom of religion.
The Inspector-General (IGP) of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar and Home Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi were initially at odds over whether the protest was seditious.
The IGP cleared the protesters of any wrongdoing, saying that they were only protesting the location of the church and were not against Christianity itself.
But Zahid said the protesters’s actions were seditious and action could be taken against them.
Khalid today said the police would investigate the matter and he would not interfere, even if action was taken against his older brother, Datuk Abdullah Abu Bakar, who had participated in the protest.