‘Motorists must show tolerance’
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.