Government Authorities Demolished Church in Malaysia
ICC Note: The Malaysian government destroys a church claiming it was illegaly built on state land, even though the pastor and his lawyer have proved that the land was owned by the church.
6/19/07 Malaysia SVM News – Malaysian Government authorities demolished a Christian Church Building in an Orang Asli settlement in Gua Musang in Ulu Kelantan on June 4.
Just few months ago, the Orang Asli community in Kampung Jias converted into Christianity as a result of the ministries of Pastor Moses Soo. And they were in need of a church to worship. So they consulted the Village Development and Security Committee and the Department of Orang Asli Affairs to erect a church to mark their faith.
It was sanctioned and they proceeded constructing the church with the help of volunteers and certain donations.
But on April 11, the Gua Musang district land office issued a stop work order, stated that the construction was being carried out on state land without permission from the authorities.
The following day, Rev. Wong Kim Kong, the Secretary General of the National Evangelical Christian Fellowship of Malaysia (NECF) sent a letter to the land office, said the land belonged to the Orang Asli villagers under Section 2 6(1) and 7(1) of the Orang Asli Act of 1954. And copied to the Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, Kelantan Menteri Besar Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat, Gua Musang MP Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah and the Attorney-General Abdul Gani Patail.
And construction of the church continued.
Again the Land Office issued another notice on May 24 informing the village headman Pedik Busu that the “illegal” structure would be demolished.
Despite various efforts to block the demolishment, the church was finally torn down by bulldozers on Monday, 4th of June.
Pastor Moses Soo said to Rev. Paul Ciniraj, the Director of the Salem Voice Ministries and the SVM News Service that police tortured him several times.
Also Pastor Soo said the district land office do not have any right to reduce the church to rubble, because the land belonged to the headman of Kampung Jias but was donated to the Orang Asli community for the purpose of building the church.
After demolishing the church, a report was made on June 6 at the Gua Musang Police Station by the headman Pg. Pedik bin Busu of Kg. Jias and he was accompanied by the lawyer Mr. Lum C. S.
“We are not sure who was responsible for demolishing the Orang Asli church in Gua Musang, the Federal Islamic authorities (UMNO) or the Kelantan State religious authorities (PAS). I think Malaysiakini carried a report recently that the Kelantan govt is going to compensate them for the demolition of the church,” a believer of the church said. “In Malaysia where Muslims destroy churches, temples, etc. the govt keeps quiet and pretends it does not know” he added .