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I do not believe the arson attack on Churches was done by a few individuals, they are just small fries.

Brothers jailed for church arson

KUALA LUMPUR: Two brothers were jailed five years each for committing arson on the Metro Tabernacle church in January, after getting a severe tongue-lashing from the judge for shaming the country with their “dastardly act”.

Sessions Court judge S. M. Komathy Suppiah ticked off Raja Muhammad Faizal Raja Ibrahim, 24, and Raja Muhammad Idzham, 22, when delivering the sentence, saying: “Individuals who commit arson attacks on places of worship deserve little or no mercy from the courts.”

The judge said the burning of the church was a despicable act and struck the very foundation of a civilised, peace-loving society.

“One of the tenets of the Rukun Negara is Kepercayaan Kepada Tuhan (Belief in God), but you both have set ablaze a home of God.

Paying the price: Raja Mohamad Izham (left) and his brother Raja Mohamad Faizal have been sentenced to five years’ jail. – Reuters

“The message from this court must be loud and clear – don’t play with fire,” said the judge.

The brothers, both despatch riders, remained calm and emotionless when the sentence was passed.

The two were charged with committing mischief with fire with the intention of destroying the church at Desa Melawati, Wangsa Maju, at 11.50pm on Jan 7.

Komathy did not accept the claim that the brothers had sustained burns at a barbecue on the night of the arson.

“That is crucial evidence and the claim that the injuries were sustained in a barbecue is a fabrication and an afterthought,” she added.

Komathy said the testimony of the accused’s close friend, who claimed he hosted the barbecue at his house, had weakened the defence’s case.

“Mohd Hamzan Zainal Abidin (the accused’s friend) knew about his friends being charged from the newspapers. Yet, he did not provide any information to the police,” she said.

Komathy granted the defence a stay of execution pending an appeal against the conviction.

Deputy Public Prosecutors Azlina Rasdi and Lailawati Ali appeared for the prosecution while counsel Datuk Hanif Hashim acted for the accused.

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