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'IGP dishonourable to absolve own brother'

Inspector-General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar should not have made any comments on the protest outside a church on Sunday since it involved his brother, Klang MP Charles Santiago.

Instead, Khalid did a "dishonourable" thing by absolving both his brother Abdullah Abu Bakar and other protestors demanding the church remove its cross sign, of sedition, Charles said.

"I thought I have heard and seen it all, but Malaysia’s top cop’s rationale that the church protest is not seditious, as it did not touch the Christian faith is ludicrous, to say the least [...]

"This is really dishonorable coming from a man who promised to uphold the law without fear or favour.

"Furthermore, Khalid should not be the one investigating into this matter as the case involves his brother. This gives rise to a conflict of interest,” he said in a statement.

Charles' (left) call comes after Gerakan human rights bureau chief Baljit Singh asked if Khalid will take action against his brother.

"Please do not practise selective prosecution," he toldMalaysiakini.

Baljit went on to condemned the small group of protesters as "extremists and fanatics".

"What is happening now is that these protesters, who are a minority group of extremists or fanatics, seem to be able to dictate the lives of the majority," he added. "The majority, who stay silent, embolden such groups."

'Majority accept Malaysia as multi-religious'

A two-day old church in Taman Desa yesterday took down its cross after 50 protestors showed up at its doorstep demandingthe symbol be taken down.

He said the majority, who accept Malaysia's secular and plural nature, are not telling such groups to "keep their mouth shut"

If this trend continues, Baljit (right) warned, it would be very difficult for others to live in a multi-racial and religious country.

"There is often talk of tolerance, acceptance and moderation by both sides of the political divide. But where have such talk gone to?

"The actions of these types of fanatical groups go against the Rukun Negara, which emphasises good manners and behaviour,” Baljit said.

"Why protest in front of places of worship? Why not protest in front of massage parlours, which are houses of devils?” he queried.

Activist to lodge police report

Earlier activist and student K Sudhagaran Stanley said he would lodge a police report on the demonstation at the Northeast District police headquarters on Jalan Pattani at 5pm today.

Sudhagaran (left) called on the police to investigate the incident thoroughly under Section 296 of the Penal Code.

The section states: "Whoever voluntarily causes disturbance to any assembly lawfully engaged in the performance of religious worship or religious ceremonies shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year or with a fine or with both."

Sudhagaran noted that the act of protesting for the removal of the cross and threats that the cross would be removed by the protesters if not removed by the church, as well as words on the placards could be investigated under Section 298A of the Penal Code.

Protestors carried placards which among others warned againt stoking Malay anger.

He pointed out that those convicted under this section would be punished with imprisonment of not less than two years and not more than five years.

"The act by the protesters is a total humiliation to all Christians,” he said.

He added the reasoning that a church should not be in a Malay area is senseless as it would mean no non-Muslim place of worship can exist in majority-Muslim Malaysia.



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