GEORGE TOWN, March 5, 2015:
The mysterious distribution of more than 50 copies of booklets called Al Masihin Balik Pulau near here, containing chronicles of Jesus and the word “Allah”, have caused much unrest among local folk.
Sungai Pinang Federal Village Security and Development Committee chairman Mohd Yusof Salam said he received complaints from villagers early yesterday after they had found the booklet in front of their homes.
He claimed the books were believed to have been distributed when the villagers were fast asleep.
“At first they thought it was some ordinary religious booklet, but after some of them studied the contents, they felt uneasy and some were even confused as it was stated that Jesus had married Mary.
“They came to see me and requested that the matter be brought to a higher level and be investigated.
“The village security committee made its nightly rounds until 3am but did not notice anything unusual up till then.
“So we believe the books could have been distributed after 3am, between 4am and 5am, when most people are fast asleep.”
Mohd Yusof added that many of the booklets had been disposed of so the actual number distributed was unknown. More than 50 copies had been collected.
A few other village folks also shared his sentiments. Zuridah Senafi, 38, and Hasmah Yahya, 55, questioned the motive of distributing the booklets and believed this was the work of outsiders.
“We feel like our village has been trespassed,” they said.
Balik Pulau Umno Youth chief Hisham Abdul Hamid said the booklets had been distributed to seven villages within a 10km radius, including Kampung Titi Teras and Kampung Sungai Pinang.
“We’re worried that some people might be confused and buy into such devious teachings.”
Following the incident, seven police reports have been lodged by Umno Balik Pulau and several non-governmental organisations there.
“Our sole purpose of lodging the reports is to urge the authorities to investigate whoever is behind the act.
“We’re not pointing fingers at anyone or blaming any religion, but all we want is to know who is behind all this as it is worrying that the booklets contain facts that contradict the teachings of Islam,” he told a press conference at the Teluk Bahang Barisan Nasional service centre in Kampung Sungai Rusa, Balik Pulau,today.
Teluk Bahang state assemblyman Shah Headan Ayoob Hussain Shah expressed shock that his state constituency had become the target of such an irresponsible act.
“This is the first time that something like this has happened here and it is very important for the police to investigate the culprits behind the act.
“It has to be nipped in the bud before it spreads. This is a very brazen act, clearly intended to confuse people.”
He urged anyone who came across individuals distributing the booklet not to take matters into their own hands but to report the matter to the police.
“Those who have the booklet in their possession should also surrender them to us or the police.”
When contacted, Southwest district police chief Superintendent Lai Fah Hin confirmed receiving the reports.
The case, he said, was being investigated under Section 298A of the Penal Code, which deals with causing disharmony on grounds of religion.