My office held a community meeting to discuss the issue of a church building in Seri Setia. The local community is against the construction whereas the church has complied with all the laws. The matter came to an open protest last month and in attempt to diffuse further racial and religious tensions, my office has asked the relevant parties to come and sit down and just talk to each other. My councillor Halimey came and my ADUN sent his representative. The church leaders met with the local JMB and Surau Chairman. MBPJ was also present to explain the history and approvals granted.
Discussion was heated at times with the venting of frustrations mostly at MBPJ for failing to engage the community on the issue since 2008. I won’t say the meeting was a success but at least the people are talking.
The parties parted peacefully and we will keep an eye on this matter. The key is to refer any future conflicts early to the councillor, ADUN and MP. I also advised the parties that the future is co-existence in peace which means the leaders of both sides must take extra efforts to talk and possibly do joint events. Easier said than done, but they must try.