A few days ago, when the church attacks first began, this made me cry. Yesterday, I read something that was even more touching.
Someone on Twitter said, “When is RM8,467 more valuable than RM500,000?”
This is the answer. If you don’t have a MKini account, the full news under the cut.
Consolation for fire-bombed church
The Metro Tabernacle church, which suffered more than RM1 million in damages when the premises were fire-bombed in an arson attack, has received a donation of RM8,467.
Blogger Dr Mohamed Rafick Khan presented a cheque today at a simple ceremony witnessed by Gombak police chief Zakaria Pagan, and about 15 donors and church members.
The money was collected after Rafick posted an appeal on his blog-spot Rights2Write, and 180 people responded. Among them were readers, friends and neighbours.
“One of our biggest donors was Marina Mahathir who chipped in RM1,000. This donation is not just about the money, but to show the spirit of the community,” he said.
Rafick, a member of the Bukit Antarabangsa Residents Organisation, said this donation drive is closed, but that others who wish to contribute could do so directly to the church.
Extensive damage was reported after a fire-bomb razed the administrative section of the three-storey church last Friday.
Church official Ebinezar John, who accepted the donation, said plans have been made to rebuild the premises, pending clearance of the insurance claim.
“We don’t have a fax machine or a phone right now, so we are operating out of our homes and using our personal mobile phones,” he said.
Another church official, Esther John, said services will continue at alternative venues, with the upcoming one at Wisma MCA.
Other church members present declined to comment on the recent events, saying the matter has been talked about enough and that “life must go on.”
The church also received RM500,000 from the government today. CIMB (a government-linked corporation) has also donated RM100,000.
‘Blessing in disguise’
Among those present was Rights2Write reader Melvin San, 59, who was there to show his support for the cause.
San is a member of the Assumption Church in Petaling Jaya which was also fire-bombed last Friday.
He said the attacks could be a “blessing in disguise.”
“God works in mysterious ways, so this could be a message to Malaysians, saying ‘Hey, wake up! Look where you are heading!’,” he said.
Asked if he feels threatened as a Catholic in Malaysia, San said he is more sad than threatened as this is not the Malaysia in which he grew up.
“I grew up in the 50s and that was a different kettle of fish altogether. My best friend was a boy called Abu Samad.
“I didn’t even know he was Malay, and neither of our parents told us anything about our races. Perhaps we were ignorant, but that sort of ignorance was bliss.”
San added that he believes that the recent arson attacks were the work of a small minority and that most Malaysians did not condone such acts.
“My advice to all is to not look at our differences, but to our commonalities in order to go back to the way we were.”
To date, nine churches have been attacked in a reaction following the lifting of the ban on the use of ‘Allah’ by non-Muslims.