Sunday, January 10, 2010

Now Taiping Affected

Just reported in at 2.20 pm by Malaysiakini. There were three cases of attempted arson involving the All Saints Church, St Louis Church and SMK Convent school in Taiping.

Perak police chief Zulkifli Abdullah confirmed the matter, but added that no damages were reported.

In an immediate reaction, Perak PAS Youth condemned the attacks and
pleaded for calm. The Islamic-based party's wing also called for an immediate police investigation into the incidents.


From The MalaysianInsider :


Arsonists failed to set fire to Taiping’s historic All Saints’ Church and the Convent School last night, making it the fifth church and first Christian school attack linked to the controversial ‘Allah’ ruling that has riled many Muslims.

Police confirmed both incidents, saying Molotov cocktails were lobbed at the church and school but the petrol bombs did not explode.

The country’s first Anglican church is also the first outside Klang Valley to be attacked since Friday.

The church in Jalan Taming Sari was built in 1886 and is considered one of Malaysia’s precious sites with its humble timber facade.

Church officials said the petrol bomb found at the convent school was probably meant for the St Louis Church next door.

Convent Taiping. - Picture from

The convent school, renamed SMK Convent Taiping, started in 1899 but moved to its present location in Convent Lane in 1938.

Perak police chief Deputy Comm Datuk Pahlawan Zulkifli Abdullah said that it was suspected that both cases were just acts of mischief by opportunists taking advantage of the other incidents of church attacks in Kuala Lumpur.

“We suspect that the incidents have no link to the other attacks on churches regarding the Allah issue. These were probably just mischievous acts by opportunists.

“However, we are not taking this matter lightly and we will be investigating both cases for arson. The perpetrators will be punished,” he said.

In the incident at the All Saints Church, the caretaker of the premises lodged a report with the police upon discovering two broken bottles just outside the wall of the church at about 7.30am this morning.

DCP Zulkifli said the caretaker had also discovered black marks on the wall, leading to the belief that it was a case of attempted arson.

In the other incident, the security guard of SM Convent Taiping had found a similar broken bottle just outside the school premises.

Police suspect that the bottle had been flung at the school at about 3.30am this morning.

“In both incidents however, no damages were recorded. Our forensic experts are presently investigating to see if both were attempted arson cases,” said DCP Zulkifli, adding that so far, the police had no suspects.

Meanwhile, he warned the public against repeating such attempts and said that the police would spare no mercy towards those involved in such criminal acts.

“We are also heightening our patrols across the state at all churches and mosques. We will be keeping a close eye on the situation,” he said.

Police have stepped up patols at most houses of worship in the country but appealed to church authorities to hire their own security guards due to a lack of policemen.

The heightened alert came after the Dec 31 High Court ruling that allowed Catholic weekly Herald to use “Allah” to describe the Christian God in its Bahasa Malaysia section. Muslim groups then organised protest for Friday when the church attacks began.

The first and worst hit was the Metro Tabernacle in Desa Melawati which had its office gutted in the early hours of Friday. The government has given RM500,000 to rebuild the church, which is part of the Assemblies of God church.

The Life Chapel in Section 17 Petaling Jaya suffered scorch marks in another attack, similar to that seen in the Lutheran Good Shepherd Church in the city’s old town quarter.

Another Molotov cocktail attack failed at the Catholic Assumption Church in Jalan Templar in Petaling Jaya.

Some churches cancelled services on Friday while others have started vigils to pray for safety and peace.

The Metro Tabernacle church had its Sunday service at the MCA headquarters today.

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