PETALING JAYA - Those who protested in front of a church in Taman Medan should not have taken action that could cause unrest in our multiracial country, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said.
He said the Cabinet had discussed the protest against a new shop lot-based church after the congregation put up a cross on the building.
"We are of the opinion that protestors should have discussed the matter with the relevant parties if they had objections and should not have taken action that could have caused unrest in our multiracial society," Najib said in a statement yesterday.
The Prime Minister stressed that everyone should abide by the laws of the country and respect the religious practices of others, as provided for in the Federal Constitution.
"In addition to that, we must be tolerant and have mutual respect among the various races and religions.
"Police will investigate the group which took part in the protest. If they are found to have broken any law, action can be taken under the Sedition Act or other existing laws," he said.
Najib said the Sedition Act was aimed at ensuring peace and harmony among the various races and protecting all faiths.
He also said that the Selangor government had the power to determine if the shop lot had been registered as a place of worship and given the permission to be used as a church.
Meanwhile, Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Tan Sri Joseph Kurup denounced the way the protestors "went to the streets to show their disapproval".
"I think that is not the proper way to do it. They should report to the authorities (if they thought the church was illegal) and let the authorities deal with the church instead of taking matters into their hands.
"If the church did not comply with the rules, the best thing they should have done was to refer to the Petaling Jaya City Council," said Kurup.
Kurup, who is in charge of national unity and integration, said the action of the protestors was "not conducive to national unity and harmony".
He said they should have embraced the spirit of Rukun Negara and the values of moderation or wasatiyyah as promoted by the Government.