Church statue in Penang vandalized, MP calls for calm while investigation carried out

Bukit Mertajam MP and Deputy Youth and Sports Minister Steven Sim has said that authorities are investigating an incident that saw a Church statue vandalized at a Catholic place of worship in his constituency this week.

Online portal Free Malaysia Today reported that a man entered the church from the street carrying a can of spray paint yesterday afternoon. According to the report, the man then allegedly defaced the statue, and proceeded to hand an on-site security guard a note bearing an unspecified Bible verse.

The incident prompted Sim to call on the public to allow the police to carry out their inquiry into the incident before leaping to conclusions.

“We will leave it to the police to investigate and take further action,” he wrote on his Facebook page following reports of the incident. “Let us not speculate on the matter.”

Malaysia is a majority Muslim country, and has a Christian population of just over 9 percent. While Islam is protected in the nation’s constitution as “the religion of the Federation,” Article 3 also states that “other religions can be practiced safely and peacefully in all parts of the Federation.”

Though Malaysia is a multi-faith nation, where tolerance has long been part of citizens’ everyday lives, recent years have seen several religious issues hijacked by certain entities for apparent political gain. For instance, non-Muslims’ use of “Allah” to refer to the god of Judeo-Christian faiths has become a hot-button issue, as have unfounded claims from some quarters that the ruling-coalition party DAP has an agenda to turn Malaysia into a Christian nation.

But don’t fall for the games, y’all! Malaysians are united by more than faith, like the fact that we all somehow know the words to Search’s 1989 hit “Isabella,” and how we hate it when Singapore says they have better food.

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