FRIDAY – 16 MAY 2014 – 3.00 PM
OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE
BY CHURCH OF VISITATION, SEREMBAN
Religious Sisters Injured by an assailant at Church of Visitation Premises on 14/05/2014
I) The tragic Incident
The parishioners of the Visitation, the Infant Jesus Sisters and the families of Sr Juliana Lim and Sr. Marie Rose Teng, are deeply saddened by the tragic incident. We share their anxiety and pain caused by this unfortunate event.
The circumstances of the incident, having occurred in the Church premises and involving 2 Roman Catholic Religious Sisters is indeed disheartening.
As at press time, we are not aware of any eye witnesses. Contrary to numerous prior initial reports and unwarranted speculations and biased interpretations by others, 2 of our 13 CCTV cameras have captured part of the incident as it occurred, aided by our brightly lit garden lights. Based on our CCTV recording, at 6.05am a passing motorcyclist makes a U-turn and rides into Gate 2, a minute after the sisters car had driven in. The assailant wearing a screened crash helmet and a lighted torch in hand runs after the 2 sisters dressed in everyday clothes. The assailant running towards his motorcycle and taking off at 6.07 am. The sisters are then found lying on the ground when the main door of the church opened at about the same time. The ambulance from the Tunku Jaafar Hospital arrives within minutes to take the sisters to the hospital. Our grateful thanks and appreciation to our hospital staff who are giving the best medical and surgical care.
II) The Social Media and Press Media
Unfortunately both the social media and press media have sensationalized and politicized this tragic incident. Given the current tense situation in the country, any incident like this is unfortunately immediately seen in relation to racial sentiments and religious intolerance.
We appreciate the care and concern expressed by so many citizens and netizens, including our Prime Minister as well as our chief police personnel.
We want to reiterate that as Christians and in solidarity with all true Malaysians we will continue to believe, pray and promote genuine racial integration, and true religious harmony in Malaysia.
III) The Necessary Learning
This isolated incident and diverse reactions and differing responses are testimony that crime, be it hate crime or theft crime is a deplorable occurrence in our society. All parties concerned must be more creative and proactive in our crime vigilance and security enforcement.
Besides the daily early morning Masses, the Church of Visitation sees about 5000 people: children, youth, adults and elderly for the 5 Masses on Sundays, in various languages from 6.30 am to 1.00 pm.
There have been numerous incidents of break-ins into cars within Church premises, and surroundings, and snatch thefts that have been reported to the police. We hope and pray that finally a police pondok will be set up on Sundays in front of the Church on Jalan Yam Tuan and daily morning police patrol be carried out.
IV) Our Request and Plea
We are grateful for all the care and concern, support and prayers shown by people of all races and religions at this time.
Our request is that privacy is respected and sensitivity be shown to both the I.J sisters and the families concerned. In this respect we strongly urge that strictly no photographs on site be taken. It will be helpful if visits to the sisters are restricted.
Fr. John Gnanapiragasam
Parish Priest, Visitation Church