KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 27, 2014): The government will organise inter-faith programmes to promote harmony and mutual understanding in the wake of the heightening of religious tensions that culminated in Molotov cocktails being hurled at a Catholic church in Penang early this morning.
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Tan Sri Joseph Kurup said peaceful dialogue and discussions should be held to resolve religious issues instead of resorting to violence and agitation.
“These incidents are unacceptable. The government will never condone such actions,” he said when commenting on the incident where provocative banners bearing the words “Jesus is the son of Allah” were strung outside two churches by unknown parties on Sunday.
“It should not have happened, we must resolve (religious) issues peacefully and not through violence; the government will never condone such acts,” Kurup told reporters after lunching the World Interfaith Harmony Week in Kuala Lumpur today.
He said the tense religious climate was due to the actions of provocateurs and those who do not think before they act. He did not specify who he was referring to.
Kurup said the important thing to do now is to let temperatures cool down to ease inter-religious tensions and that “the less we talk about it, the better”.
On the Cabinet’s 10-point solution, he said it does not supersede state laws, but that the federal government will engage in “diplomacy” to harmonise federal and state laws.
Kurup said he will also hold discussions with the Selangor government to get the 300 Bibles in Bahasa Malaysia and Iban that were seized by the Selangor Islamic Religious Department (JAIS) from the Bible Society of Malaysia (BSM).