No religion condones injustice and violation of human rights - and no religion will ask its followers to stay out of the political, socio-cultural and economic life of their country.
As such, I was shocked that GERAKAN or was it just Andy Yong, a Gerakan Youth leader, who is confused, and wants churches not to mix 'religion with politics'.
“Tell the politicians to grow up” Bishop Paul[Catholic bishop Bernard Paul] said. His posting sparked criticism from Parti Cinta Malaysia leader Huan Cheng Guan who urged the bishop to focus more on church matters rather than meddling into political matters irrelevant to religion...“Noise is normal, I have no problem even if they call me an idiot. To me, I have expected such a reaction. Religious life and normal life are not two lives, but only one life. We must walk the talk, if I walk one but talk the other, then I am a hypocrite." - see FMT report below
Peaceful rallies should be respected, albeit we may hold differing views. - Rev. Dr. Eu Hong Seng, Chairman and the Executive Committee, The Christian Federation of Malaysia
What does GERAKAN want of Christians, Muslims, Buddhist, Hindus and Sikhs of Malaysia? What does GERAKAN want of Churches, Mosques and Temples, who really are communities of believers in Malaysia? To sit quietly, indifferent to what is happening in Malaysia? Are we all just meant to pray and be only concerned about our own religious teachings and practices - and do not care and act for a better Malaysia where justice and human rights prosper.
Well, we are also part of Malaysia, and we too have our freedom of expression, opinion and peaceful assemble - a certainly a duty to do the neded to put an end to all forms of injustice, abuses, corruption and kleptocracy... The effect of wrongdoing or failures in government will have an adverse impact on all people - look at the increasing cost of living, the removal of subsidies, the increase in tols, cost of healthcare ... all of which will affect the people especially the poor and the marginalised - and GERAKANs wants us to not bother and not do anything?
It is GERAKAN, that claims to a political party, that seems to have failed - they continue to be part of a questionable government - silent and loyal to the Prime Minister. Remember, by being silent and not taking a stand on alleged injustice and wrongs, GERAKAN is not a solution but a partner in the escalating problems in Malaysia.
BERSIH 5 IS OVER. THE PEOPLE HAVE SPOKEN - WILL NAJIB AND THIS GOVERNMENT STILL IGNORE IT? WILL THE MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT, WHO HAVE THE POWER TO REMOVE NAJIB AND APPOINT A NEW PM, KEEP QUITE?IF NAJIB LOSES THE SUPPORT OF THE MAJORITY OF MPs - no choice but to resign or dissolve Parliament and new elections...? BERSIH 41k, RED Shirts 4k - A Successful Call for Action, Accountability and Clean Government? MPs LISTEN?
GERAKAN should not be trying to suppress anyone or any group/institution from expressing themselves and doing the needful for a better Malaysia.
The UMNO-BN government of Malaysia says that there is no problem linked with 1MDB and that the PM did nothing wrong with regard the billions in his personal account... BUT then investigations and even proceedings have commenced in other countries concerning 1MDB, MO1 and 'Kleptocracy'? GERAKAN stand is...?? Or is GERAKAN's stand what Najib says is the BN stand?
Now, GERAKAN is seen trying to stop Malaysian churches and its members from speaking out...GERAKAN has certainly changed a lot - at one time, it stood out in terms of values and principles even within the BN but alas now...???
Malaysian religions have a long history of standing up for justice and human rights. On the BERSIH 5, see below a statement by the Christian Federation of Malaysia, and also a news report about the stance of a Catholic Bishop. The Catholic Church has always taken positions and stands on human rights, political-socio-economic and cultural issues - but today other Churches, even other religious groups do speak out...and take action.
With regard to Christianity,...we follow the example of Jesus
Well, if we were to go back and look at the Jesus in the Gospels, and also the stories of the prophets and Judges of old testament in the Bible, we would know that Christianity or any religion is never 'isolated' from reality - the political, socio-cultural and economic reality. It is absurd for GERAKAN to even suggest churches and Christians to take no stance...and positions in matters of 'politics'?
Remember that Jesus, for his actions, was finally arrested and put to death by the 'government of the day'. He was very vocal - had many ceramahs and 'peaceful assemblies' - he bravely spoke out against injustices - identifying even those in power who failed in their duties... He certainly did not separate religion from politics, did he?
Palestine was at that time under the Roman Colonial power - and so, the Jewish authorities powers were limited - they could not impose the death penalty - hence they asked Pontius Pilate to crucify Jesus. Why did the Jewish authorities and Romans cause Jesus to be arrested, detained, whipped, tortured and finally crucified? Was it because he simply 'prayed' and isolated himself from the reality? Or was it because because he was outspoken about the bad things in his reality, fearlessly also identifying those responsible.
Personally, if Jesus was in Malaysia today, I believe he would have most likely been there at BERSIH 5.0...and if the ISA was still there, he would likely be an ISA detainee..
What do you think is the reason why so many Malaysians came out and joined BERSIH 5.0? Did their own religious values and principles have nothing to do in their decision to come out and fight for clean and fair elections, clean governments, etc..
When we pray? Do we not pray for clean corrupt-free government, independent and fair judges, etc...But remember, Jesus demands of us to also ACT - not just pray or talk...
Are Christians not expected to follow the example of Jesus? - well, Jesus was very outspoken on injustices around him...he certainly organised a lot of peaceful assemblies...Jesus not only challenged the local Jewish authorities...but also the Romans..He challenged prejudices and discrimination...that existed.
Well, in the past some Churches and their leaders may have remained quite for a long time - BUT that mainly may have been because of FEAR, OR the worry of repercussions from the State which may result in loss of property, etc - but that is in the past..for many.
Looking at Jesus and the Bible - the demand for Christians is fight for what is right irrespective of what the risk is. Jesus lost his life - so did his cousin, John. A perusal of the Bible will see that was the end result of many of the prophets and even disciples of Jesus...and many who were called were afraid, but then the fear was overcome and they acted..
Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean. In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.Matthew 23:27-28
Church no place to invoke Bersih, preaches Gerakan Youth
"Last weekend we saw some churches holding their masses and services before the rally by having the believers conspicuously supporting one side of the protest.
"Many of them wore the particular colour of shirts to show support in the church.
"An archbishop who joined the rally also encouraged his followers to do the same," said Gerakan Deputy Youth chief Andy Yong.
"The archbishop is, of course, free to make a decision if it involves church matters, but to use the sacraments to encourage support or affiliation to certain political agendas is not appropriate.
"He should consider whether he risks fuelling the anger sentiment towards others with different faith and political support. He must consider the consequences of his actions," Yong said in a statement today.
While he is not advocating that persons who are religious should be excluded from government affairs or that they influence others to do the same, there is a matter of "sensitivity" to be considered, he said.
"We cannot use religious tenets as a justification for our support in government or politics.
"History has provided ample proof that when religion is mixed with government or political affairs, it
will cause serious problems and lead to violence," Yong said.
No to religious supremacy
He added: "There should be, no hierarchy of faith for political purposes in Malaysia. Rhetoric such as that used by PAS to pressure Muslims to support hudud has no place in our civic multi-religious life.
"The separation of religion and political ideologies or government support is essential in our civil liberties. Politics and religion must not mix."
Despite threats by anti-Bersih forces over the past weeks, the Bersih 5 rally saw at least 40,000 people march through the streets of Kuala Lumpur last Saturday, demanding electoral and democratic reforms.
The rally concluded peacefully. - Malaysiakini, 21/11/2016
CHRISTIAN FEDERATION OF MALAYSIA
PERSEKUTUAN KRISTIAN MALAYSIA
Address : 26 Jalan Universiti, 46200 Petaling Jaya, Sel
angor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia
Telephone / Fax : + 60 3 7957 1457
11th November 2016
PRAY FOR A NATION IN CRISIS
• Threats of violence have been unabated for weeks, and protests and actual violence have occurred around the nation, with even more promised. Peaceful rallies should be respected, albeit we may hold differing views. Perpetrators of violence should not be emboldened by the inaction of authorities who have been mandated to maintain peace in our nation.
• We Malaysians look to our government and its agents who serve to protect all citizens to take action to curtail this escalating and potentially incendiary situation where even ‘a blood bath’ has been part of the threats without restricting peaceful assemblies, rallies and gatherings.
Parliament should take steps to chide Members of Parliament who defend such threats to the peace and stability of our nation. And respective constituencies should be reminded of the position and conduct of these representatives at the next general election.
•There are individual Malaysians, civil society organisations and the media who are being harassed, some are receiving death threats and even investigated for mere allegations - to the extent that the non-partisan International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) has called on our authorities to conduct a thorough and impartial investigation into unlawful acts of intimidation against Malaysians and identifying and bringing to account those responsible.
- calls upon all citizens, government officials and Members of Parliament to fiercely defend democracy and the fundamental freedoms guaranteed therein under the Federal Constitution;
- hopes that our media remains independent and unfettered in reporting. As a nation which seeks to attain developed nation status, this journey surely must include nurturing a mature and unencumbered press which can be a source for both those in authority and citizens, to articulate clarification, praise, concerns and grievances.
We call on all Malaysians to play their role in keeping the peace of our nation without curtailing our rights or jeopardising our safety and stability.
Most of all, the CFM calls upon all Malaysians to join us in praying for our beloved nation.
Rev. Dr. Eu Hong Seng,
Chairman and the Executive Committee, The Christian Federation of Malaysia
Bishop: Everyone’s right to attend Bersih 5
PETALING JAYA: After attending the Bersih 4 rally last year, Catholic bishop Bernard Paul intends to take to the streets of Kuala Lumpur for Bersih 5, to be held on November 19.
In an online posting, Bishop Paul urged Malaysians to take part in the rally and “to claim [Malaysia] back from destructive leaders”.
Bishop Paul, who is head of the Catholic Church’s Malacca-Johor diocese, said that taking part in Bersih was a citizen’s right and not a matter of party politics, not of supporting BN nor the divisive opposition.
“Tell the politicians to grow up” Bishop Paul said. His posting sparked criticism from Parti Cinta Malaysia leader Huan Cheng Guan who urged the bishop to focus more on church matters rather than meddling into political matters irrelevant to religion.
The bishop said he had three reasons for wishing to attend the rally, according to a news report.
First, to express solidarity with Malaysians trying to make the country a better place. “There are people putting their lives (on the line) for it. Bersih 5 convoy (supporters) were beaten and the law seems to be double standard. I also want to be one (good Malaysian), I feel I must support them and get my people to support them. I want a better Malaysia,” he was quoted as telling Malaysiakini.
“Lastly, I have had a good many people in the church and beyond, enquiring about the right thing to do.
As a bishop, I am a teacher and I have to teach the truth. The right thing to do. So it was a teaching to work with all peoples on the betterment of our nation and world,” he said.
According to Malaysiakini, the bishop was unfazed by the criticism he had received. Huan had said that a religious figure should not encourage demonstrations or rallies and had labelled the bishop as an “idiot”.
“Noise is normal, I have no problem even if they call me an idiot. To me, I have expected such a reaction. Religious life and normal life are not two lives, but only one life. We must walk the talk, if I walk one but talk the other, then I am a hypocrite.
“The politicians said (I am) mixing (religion) with politics. No! I am teaching the people to work with other people and religion. We are trying to make Malaysia better, is it wrong?” he was reported as saying. - FMT News, 22/10/2016