Malaysian youth held for threatening to vandalise Hindu shrine

Malaysian police have nabbed a youth who posted on a website that he was ready to vandalise a Hindu shrine at Batu Caves near here.

The youth, who claimed to have prepared crude bombs that were hurled at some churches last week, was held and his \”seditious\” postings removed after he said he was only \”playing around\”.

The police acted after a complaint from Putera Malaysian Indian Congress, the MIC\’s youth wing.

The incident comes close on the heels of arson at eight churches across the country following a high court verdict on the use of the word \”Allah\” on the masthead of  a magazine published by the Catholic church.

There has been an outcry among sections of majority Malay Muslims who say the word cannot be used by non-Muslims.

The government has condemned the attacks. It, however, says the use of the word \’Allah\’ was exclusive to Muslims in Malaysia.

Batu Caves have ancient Hindu shrines that are visited by the community that forms a bulk of the nearly two million population of ethnic Indians settled in Malaysia.

The youth, who was not identified, boasted about having supplied the home-made bombs to arsonists and being on the spot but not participating in the arson.

The 25-year-old student from Johor was picked up by police earlier this week after his posting on the churches surfaced. He was released on bail after he had his statement recorded.

It was learnt that the student had since posted a public apology on his Facebook account and had also removed his earlier posting, New Straits Times said Friday.

Higher Education Minister Mohamed Khaled Nordin said that the student had to take responsibility for his actions although he claimed to be only \”playing around\”.

The minister urged police to bring the student to court, adding that this matter could not be taken lightly.

\”Just because he is a student, it does not mean he is special or has immunity from the law,\” he was quoted as saying.

Meanwhile, in Johor state, vandals threw bags of red paint into the compound of St Elizabeth Church in Jalan Kota Kechil.

Two empty paint containers were found near the gate. It is believed the paint was poured into plastic bags before they were thrown at the church premises. The bags landed near a statue, the church door, the side entrance and next to the gate.

Church chairman John Lee said the incident was discovered about 8 a.m.

\”I will hold a meeting of the church committee about the incident,\” he said.

District police chief Superintendent Osman Sebot said police found seven bags of red paint at the scene.

In a related incident, two lawyers acting for the Catholic newspaper found their office ransacked.

Lawyer Derek Fernandez said the burglars took a laptop, some cash and clients\’ documents from his office, adding that he found it strange that other valuables were not taken.

Fernandez said the incident could be related to the current issue involving the use of the word \”Allah\” in the Herald.

\”The burglars sprayed black paint on the security television camera on the first floor,\” he added.

Fernandez\’s partner, S. Selvarajah, said the burglars also took some documents kept in a safe which had been forced open.

( 554 Words)

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