PDRM must explain why it tried to disrupt the service at Kajang Bethany Church last Sunday

Media Statement by Dr. Ong Kian Ming, MP for Serdang, on the 2nd of December 2014

I refer to the news reports of two policemen who disrupted a BM church service at the Bethany Church in Kajang. I have spoken to the pastor of the church, Pastor Nelson, and he confirmed the events as reported in the news. He told me that the two police asked him to stop his service immediately and that they left after Pastor Nelson tried to ask them to speak to Pastor Alfred Tais, the National Evangelical Christian Federation (NECF)’s BM Commission’s Executive Secretary on the telephone.

Short of someone committing a crime or there being a life threatening emergency, the police have no right to disrupt the services of any religious organization. What the two policemen did at Bethany Church is an infringement of the constitutional right of freedom of religion of the members of the church and Pastor Nelson.

Furthermore, the issue of whether the shoplot in question can or cannot be used as a place of worship is not a matter for the police to decide but for the local council, in this case, Majlis Perbandaran Kajang (MPKj). For the police to take action without the presence of MPKj on the basis of a few ‘complaints’ is unacceptable and without basis especially when no crime had been committed.

I call upon the Kajang OCPD Abdul Rashid Abdul Wahap to carry out a detailed investigation for this case and if necessary, to ask his officers to apologise to Pastor Nelson and his congregation. I will also meet with the Kajang OCPD to demand his guarantee that such an occurrence should never happen again in the area under his jurisdiction.