A Thanksgiving Dinner of a non-profit organization, Harapan Komuniti, was held on 3rd August 2011 at the Dream Centre in Petaling Jaya. The appreciation dinner was held to commemorate the NGO’s efforts in working on its numerous community projects, including with women and children, and victims of HIV/AIDS and natural disasters. Harapan Komuniti is a community-based NGO that brings love, hope and peace to the poor, needy and marginalized, regardless of race, language, religion or status. The dinner was a multiracial celebratory gathering of volunteers, leaders, supporters and members of the community who have benefited from the NGO’s work.

At 10 pm on the same night, a large group of between 20 to 30 Jabatan Agama Islam Selangor (JAIS) and Police officers, some in uniform and many in plain clothes, entered the premises of Dream Centre without a warrant. They entered the hall where the dinner was taking place and started taking videos and photographs. When asked by the organizers why they were there, JAIS replied that they received a complaint, but was unable to produce a copy when asked.

JAIS officers took down details of the Muslim guests before leaving the premises with the Police.

Damansara Utama Methodist Church and Community Excel Services who rent Dream Centre are highly disappointed with the trespass and action of the JAIS and Police officers who entered and searched a private property without a warrant. They have subjected all guests at the Thanksgiving Dinner to undue harassment. We stress that the dinner was a community thanksgiving dinner conducted in love peace and harmony with the purpose of appreciating and commemorating Harapan Komuniti’s efforts to help Malaysians of all walks of life.

We call on all Malaysians not to condone this breach of Freedom of Assembly and Association as provided by Article 10 of the Federal Constitution of Malaysia, but to live in mutual trust and love and to promote peace, harmony and unity in the true spirit of 1 Malaysia.

Senior Pastor Dr Daniel Ho
For Damansara Utama Methodist Church and Community Excel Services
4 August 2011