‘Mo­torists must show tol­er­ance’

New Straits Times - - News -

SHAH ALAM: Con­ges­tion near places of wor­ship dur­ing re­li­gious events is to be ex­pected, and road users should un­der­stand and re­spect other re­li­gions.

Church el­der Fran­cis Foo of the Church of the Di­vine Mercy in Glen­marie here said tol­er­ance was the key to avoid in­ci­dents, such as the mob at­tack near a mosque in Ta­man Austin Per­dana, Jo­hor, on Fri­day.

Foo, 66, a com­mu­nion min­is­ter for the past 10 years, said there were in­ad­e­quate park­ing spa­ces in many places of wor­ship, es­pe­cially when they held prayers or ser­mons.

“Our church re­ceives be­tween 800 and 1,000 at­ten­dees for mass ser­vice every Satur­day and Sun­day, and, of course, park­ing at the premises is not enough.

“How­ever, our neigh­bours un­der­stand that we do not have enough space.

“They have been given our con­tact num­ber in case a ve­hi­cle that be­longs to our con­gre­ga­tion needs to be moved.

“To me, the in­ci­dent in Jo­hor could have been avoided. We must tol­er­ate each other. Af­ter all, we are hu­man and Malaysians.”

A con­gre­ga­tion mem­ber, G. Nicholas, 35, said he be­lieved that the driver in the in­ci­dent on Fri­day should not have honked when the mosque con­gre­ga­tion was pray­ing.

“We should re­spect other re­li­gions. It was a Fri­day. It should be un­der­stood that Mus­lims gather at mosques for Fri­day prayer and there would be hap­haz­ard park­ing.

“I work as a lorry driver. There are times when I have to squeeze through nar­row spa­ces be­cause wor­ship­pers park their ve­hi­cles by the road­side. But, we must think pos­i­tive when fac­ing this prob­lem.”

He said wor­ship­pers should also park re­spon­si­bly.

The church se­cu­rity guard, who only wanted to be known as Sal­man, 31, said the premises at Jalan Pe­maju U1/15 pro­vided only 65 park­ing spots, and it was nor­mal to see cars parked along the roads on Satur­day evenings and Sun­day morn­ings.

In Perlis, Mufti Datuk Dr Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin called on Mus­lims in the state to re­spect other road users.

A post on his Face­book page on Satur­day said his com­ment had noth­ing to do with the re­cent in­ci­dent in Jo­hor, but was gen­eral ad­vice.

“I would like to call on Mus­lims in Perlis to give the right of way, es­pe­cially dur­ing prayer time, par­tic­u­larly dur­ing Fri­day and Hari Raya prayers.

“Sim­i­larly, dur­ing pub­lic lec­tures, they should park their ve­hi­cles in an or­derly man­ner so other road users will not be af­fected.”

Church el­der Fran­cis Foo of the Church of the Di­vine Mercy in Shah Alam.

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