When I started writing this (The Case For God) series, I had in mind the difference between the Peninsula and Sabah and Sarawak in the acceptance of the use of “Allah” in the Malay Bible, or in any other material of Christian origin. To refresh, whilst the peoples of Sabah (North Borneo) and Sarawak were British subjects as they were under direct British rule and were therefore subjugated, the people of the Peninsula (Malaya), save for the Strait Settlements, were not. Therefore, the British dared not influence especially the Malays of Malaya to convert to Christianity.
Today, I read with alarm Helen Ang’s posting. There clearly is a call by Reverend Datuk Ng Moon Hing, Datuk Rev. chairman of the Christian Federation of Malaysia and the Bishop for Anglicans of West Malaysia, for Christians to “rise during the next general election, and vote in a government that will allow Christianity to flourish”,and in his own words:
…to…propagate one’s religion is allowed, without undue curtailment from the law, restrictions or even prohibition…
No, I did not make this up. In fact, you can view it yourself in Helen Ang’s posting above, or see it for yourself below:
What Bishop Ng is seeking is for the amendment to Article 11 of the Federal Constitution, and in a blatant challenge to Article 11(4), the sanctity of Islam as the nation’s religion as specifically guaranteed by Article 3(1).
And among the reasons for the call to Malaysian Christians to rise is to prevent “a government which plays God or a government which exclude God“. According to him, “It is very dangerous and bad for the nation.” The former is a veiled reference to PAS, while the latter is the Barisan Nasional that they are eager to kick out.
Evangelism, my friends, cuts across the board and knows no boundaries. Traditions die and families get broken up. I have a family friend, an octogenarian Taoist, almost paralysed by a stroke, and whose daughters have all converted to Christianity. Two out of three daughters have migrated with their husband. His concern as life ebbs away is: which daughter would burn joss sticks and incense for him when he dies? It may seem a small thing for some, but a last grasp at salvation for others.
Maybe the people of this nation was not ready for the immediate openness introduced by the Abdullah government , which Abdullah later backtracked on with dire results for Barisan Nasional. The consequence of that is gutter politics and a more polarised Malaysia. And that has nurtured disrespect, even for the very law that has held this nation together.
The Barisan Nasional may not be the best legally-registered coalition around, but in the slightly over 55 years of existence, this nation has come to be a hero from zero. Of course, there is still a lot of room for improvements. And I mean A LOT!
But to vote in the alternative, in my strong opinion, is even worse.