The reply is disingenuous, as most plans (if not all) do not make provisions for other non-Muslim houses of worship anyway (eg Shah Alam, and the new administrative capital Putrajaya).
But what of the spokesperson’s next comment?
This raises questions, and we need clarity here.
As it stands, Christians are in the minority and I do not see our numbers swell dramatically in the near future. If churches are only to be built in areas where there are more Christians than other religious adherents, no such places will be available. If Muslims object to the presence of a church in a neighbourhood, what would happen if other religious adherents (ie Buddhists, Hindus, etc) do the same on the same grounds?
While there is freedom of worship in Malaysia in general, it is not absolute as in many other countries around the world. The Government controls the building of non-Muslim houses of worship and to its credit, has eased some restrictions in recent years. But increasingly it is the local councils that often stand in the way. It’s a long-standing issue (also involves burial land for non-Muslims) which religious minorities in Malaysia have had to deal with and will continue to deal with in coming days.
Small-group house churches, anyone?