On wearing a Bersih 4 T-shirt to church


Tan Foong Luen
Malaysiakini
Aug 24th, 2015

Life recently has been a roller-coaster ride. The Dow has plunged 531 points to end its worst week since 2011. Oil prices dipped to below US$40 – the lowest since 2009. The Swiss have launched a money-laundering investigation into 1MDB. The authorities have refused to grant a permit for the Bersih 4 rally.

As I knelt to pray this Sunday, I am mindful of the key verse in the Church bulletin: “For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I fully known. And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” – 1 Cor 23:12-13

I had wanted to wear a Bersih 4 tee-shirt to church to create awareness. My wife had reservations as to the appropriateness as a church attire. She didn’t want me to create an uproar.

I found comfort guided by my pastor. “All things are permissible but not all things are beneficial” – 1Cor 10:23-24. It is your prerogative to wear what you will but you need to consider if your actions brings greater benefit or evil. If it causes your fellow brother to stumble in his worship of God, then don’t ; if it encourages him to worship all the more, then do so.

“Either way, your conscience must be clear before God and man. The church is apolitical but is always opposed to corruption , injustice and evil. Hence the church, as did the prophets of the old and the new Testaments are called to speak up and stand against injustice and do what is right.” My heart is strangely warmed.

I am also touched by Ambiga Sreenevasan’s clarion call: “We have to fix this nation for the next generation . We cannot hand them a broken nation.”

The truth should be brought out – no matter who is involved. The information that from a trickle has become an avalanche. It has persuaded many to believe there is a real possibility that some of the charges are true, and suggesting further that there have been efforts to conceal the facts.

The integrity of the prime minister’s office is a sacred trust. The public faith in the integrity of this office would have to take priority over all personal considerations.

Whatever may appear to have been in this 1MDB debacle, whatever improper activities may yet to be discovered in connection with this whole sordid affair, justice must be pursued fairly, fully and impartially, no matter who is involved. And such abuses must be purged from our political process.

Admittedly, this sad legacy of the last 60 years is a showcase of the perils of our indifference. It is a sin we committed against ourselves. If we accept it as such, we will understand that it is up to us all to do something about it.

Let Bersih 4 be a demonstration of the moral vigour and the righteous fury of the rakyat. Let’s make Malaysia a land in which each person can dare to dream, can live his dreams – not in fear but in hope.

There is vital work to be done. Work that cannot wait. Work that we must do.

Come to do your bit for our beloved nation. Let us expose the cynical brutal lies, the stubborn arrogance and the ludicrous posturing and proud pathos of a doomed PM.

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