He said she claimed to have graduated from the International Islamic University of Malaysia and the prestigious al-Azhar University in Cairo, Egypt.

She had also claimed to have converted to Christianity after working with Christian missionaries upon her return from Egypt before reverting to Islam again.

Last week, Harussani identified her as having sent him the text message which he then conveyed to Muslim NGO leaders.

Sensitive issue

"We live in a multi-racial community. Such sensitive issues should not be taken lightly"

Abdul Aziz Bulat,
Perak police chief

Local law prohibits the proselytisation of Muslims and apostasy is a highly-sensitive issue in plural Malaysia.

The text message also alleged that Azhar Mansor, a local celebrity sailor, would be leading the baptism of 600 Muslim students. He has since declared that he is still a Muslim.

Abdul Aziz Bulat, the Perak police chief, told reporters he wanted the woman behind the message to come forward and give her side of the story.

"Even if she claimed she was telling the truth (of having photographic proof of Muslims being baptised), we have to study it from every aspect while verifying the evidence," the Star newspaper quoted him as saying.

"We live in a multi-racial community. Such sensitive issues should not be taken lightly."

The country’s police chief has warned rumour-mongers face detention without trial under Malaysia’s Internal Security Act, which gives police wide-ranging powers.