Malaysian Religious Leaders Protest over Priest Visa Cuts

January 8, 2008

Author: Staff Writer

Source: Yahoo! News

Wire Service: AFP

Non-Muslim religious groups said Tuesday that Malaysia is refusing to issue new visas for foreign priests, in the latest eruption of ethnic discord in the multicultural nation.

Foreign priests already in the country have only been given six-month renewals and told they must leave after expiry, said the head of the Malaysian Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism.

The council's president A. Vaithilingam said the restrictions mostly affected ethnic Indian Hindus, who have been at the centre of a discrimination row, and that there would now not be enough priests to conduct prayers.