Council of Churches accepts Sultan’s ruling
The Council of Churches Malaysia has accepted the Sultan of Selangor’s ruling that no group should be prosecuted over a controversial church search in August.
Its general-secretary Reverend Dr Hermen Shastri said the council took the view that Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah had settled the matter.
“We consider the Sultan’s statements a closure of the DUMC (Damansara Utama Methodist Church) case,” he said yesterday.
He was commenting on the search conducted by the Selangor Islamic Affairs Department (Jais) during a dinner held at the DUMC Dream Centre on Aug 3.
“In the interests of peace, we hope that people will not speculate about or aggravate the situation further,” he said.
Meanwhile, Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim said a committee would be set up by the state government to study ways to strengthen the Selangor Islamic Affairs Department’s (Jais) standard operating procedures.
He said in a statement that the special committee would be headed by legal and religious experts.
Khalid added that Jais should strengthen its administration when conducting religious checks, adding: “This issue only shows that Jais has space for improvement.”
State PAS deputy commissioner Khalid Samad described the Sultan’s command to not prosecute any party and to provide counselling to Muslims present at the dinner as a good way to restore belief in Islam.
“Taking legal action and applying force to change one’s mindset, especially in religious matters will not work,” he added.
“An individual’s belief should not be handled with force. It should be handled in a more delicate manner. Hence, the Sultan’s announcement to provide counselling is the best way in restoring belief in Islam.”
Selangor religious affairs committee chairman Datuk Dr Hasan Mohamed Ali said they would use hi-tech gadgets to prove their cases in the court.
“I will make sure that a high-performance management system and sophisticated equipment are used to defend every case,” he said.
He said the ruling was an indication that the Sultan wanted both Jais and the Selangor Islamic Religious Council to act “professionally”.
Meanwhile, Gerakan president Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon said the Sultan, in his royal wisdom, had defused the situation.
“By further ensuring no parties will be prosecuted will allow the matter to be put to rest,” he said.
What was important now was for Jais and other agencies to review their practices on raids especially when it involved a non-Muslim place of worship, Dr Koh said.