Holy statues at the iconic St Anne’s Church in Bukit Mertajam have been desecrated by black spray paint yesterday afternoon.
According to police, in the 4.45pm incident yesterday, a man had entered the church and sprayed the statues with an “X” sign.
Several parts of the floor of the church complex were sprayed as well.
A security guard stopped the vandal in his act but the man asked the former for a pen and paper, said the police.
“He then scribbled a verse from the Bible and quickly left off on a motorcycle,” police added.
“The guard failed to take note of the model of the motorbike or its registration number, but described the man as angry,” police said, in a statement sent to reporters in a WhatsApp chat group.
Central Seberang Perai police chief Nik Ros Azhan Nik Abdul Hamid said the church has installed a CCTV at the scene, and police will be looking into the footages for further information.
“Damages amount to about RM200,” said Nik Ros Azhan.
“We are investigating the case under section 427 of the Penal Code for mischief which carries a maximum five-year jail or fine or both if convicted,” he told the media.
The local MP Steven Sim said he had spoken to Nik Ros Azhan and the parish priest Henry Rajoo on the matter, and urged against speculating on the incident.
“In this season of Advent, our focus should be on love, hope and faith,” he wrote on Facebook.
Founded in 1846, the church is a place for pilgrimage for thousands of believers from all over the world, who would make their way to the church in July every year.
The church was built by French missionaries to honour Saint Anne, the mother of Mary, who is Jesus’ grandmother.
St Anne was recently declared as a minor basilica by the pope on Sept 5, the first in Malaysia.