A clarion call to the Christians in Malaysia

By Thomas Lee

Enough is enough! The usually docile, meek and temperate Christian community in Malaysia has had enough, and has exploded in anger over what they perceive as their human, civil and constitutional rights being denied and rendered illusory, with the latest seizure of 30,000 Malay Bibles from the Kuching Port in Sarawak.

Several such incidents over the last few years are nothing less than an assault on their God-given rights to worship, and to practice and propagate their faith in their own national language, without any legal restriction or political oppression.

There should no place for such evil bigotry and discrimination towards any religious belief in our country which is founded on the fundamental human right basis of freedom to worship and to practice and propagate one’s faith without hindrance, as enshrined in the Federal Constitution.

Article 8 of the Federal Constitution states that “All persons are equal before the law and entitled to the equal protection of the law”, and “there shall be no discrimination against citizens on the ground only of religion, race, descent, place of birth or gender in any law ….”.

Article 11 provides for every person to have “the right to profess and practice his religion”, and that every religious group has the right (a) to manage its own religious affairs, (b) to establish and maintain institutions for religious or charitable purposes, and (c) to acquire and own property and hold and administer it in accordance with the law.

The refusal to allow the Christians in the country to use certain Bahasa Malaysia words in their publications is a direct infringement of their constitutional right to freedom of religious worship and practice. As patriotic citizens of the nation, the Christians in Malaysia should automatically have total access to use the complete vocabulary of the national language. There is no such thing as the monopoly of certain words by any particular group.

The seizure of the Malay Bibles on the contention that they contain several Bahasa Malaysia words deemed incongruous for use by the Christians is an infraction of their constitutional rights as legitimate loyal citizens, and a direct transgression of the universal human right provisions of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted on 10 December 1948.

It is definitely wrong, unconstitutional, even immoral, when a certain section of the citizenry is denied and deprived of their human and constitutional rights based on the unilateral action of some bias and racist extremist civil servants.

The Christian Federation of Malaysia (CFM), an umbrella body that represents over 90% of churches in the country, is surely justified in publicly challenging the Barisan Nasional federal government to explain the latest seizure of the Malay Bibles at the Kuching Port, and questioning its sincerity and integrity in dealing with the fiasco and other similar related issues over the last few years.

What then should the Christians in Malaysia do in the face of such an oppressive political tyranny, in which their freedom to practice their faith is being undermined?

First of all, as Christians, we believe in the power of divine intervention, so we must unite in unceasing prayer before the throne of grace to seek God’s help. A nationwide non-stop prayer vigil should be organized by the various churches to pray for the nation and its leaders. Individual Christians on their own should also set aside a day each week to fast and pray.

Secondly, the Christians must be united in their stand to defend their human and constitutional rights, to curb and prevent any breach or dilution of such fundamental rights. They should give steadfast and strong support to the CFM and church leaders in their negotiation with the authorities on the matter. At the same time, the CFM and its leadership should be resolute and unwavering in their stand, without fear or favour. Those who are afraid and not willing to risk the prospect of being detained for standing up should step down from the leadership positions.

Thirdly, the churches should start holding talks and forums to inform and educate their members on the issues affecting them. Pastors should preach and teach on biblical subjects such as Christian responsibility in society. For too long, the Christians, including the pastors and church leaders, have been basking in their comfort zone within the four walls of their churches, with nary a concern about their rights being eroded or tramped on. The time has come for the Christians to emerge from their spiritual slumber to play a more vocal and visible role as loyal citizens of the nation. They should mobilize themselves to campaign and vote for those who are righteous, just, honest, fair, humble, competent, and incorruptible to serve as their representatives in Parliament and the various state assemblies.

Finally, Christians who are qualified and willing to serve the nation in the socio-political arena should offer themselves as candidates for election to Parliament and the various state assemblies. We need Joseph who became the prime minister of Egypt and saved the country from famine and economic disaster, Moses who fought for the liberation of those oppressed slaves of Egypt, Daniel who stood firm for his faith in the face of religious persecution, David who served as King and unified the nation, Nehemiah who served as a high government official and used his position to help rebuilt Jerusalem, John the Baptist who was beheaded for exposing and condemning the immorality of Herod, and the apostle Paul who exercised his citizenship rights to stand up for his faith. Of course, the prime example is the Lord Jesus who challenged and spoke out against the hypocritical Jewish religious leaders and the oppressive Roman political authorities, and was crucified.

The clarion call to the Christians in Malaysia today is to join with all other Malaysians of like vision and mission to partcipate in an active national service to bring about the transformation of the nation to a new and better Malaysia.

  1. #1 by best4rakyat on Friday, 11 March 2011 - 10:46 am

    Be cool all B&S in christ and put it in your pray.
    remember the words:”Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath,…” – Romans 12:19


  2. #2 by k1980 on Friday, 11 March 2011 - 11:05 am

    Those christians who voted for bn in elections should be fed to the lions in the coliseums of Rome

  3. #3 by ctm999 on Friday, 11 March 2011 - 11:12 am

    As a Christian I am not ashame of my faith. However we must tread with care. The ‘Allah’ lawsuit, Herald vs Govt, results in a few churches burnt. Even though we are only fighting for our rights, some unscrupulous people will twist this into religious war. I’m not afraid of the government, but no innocents should suffer.

  4. #4 by DAP man on Friday, 11 March 2011 - 11:17 am

    One the one hand we want all the churches to pray. Well and good. On the other hand the same Christians are voting for BN and supporting coalition parties in BN.
    [deleted – pls exercise restraint in language expressed. – Admin]
    Why are the Christian leaders in Sabah and Sarawak sleeping.
    The Christians are themselves selling their rights away for political office.

  5. #5 by yhsiew on Friday, 11 March 2011 - 3:01 pm

    Chua Soi Lek said PAS has violated the federal constitution by not allowing non-Muslims in Kelantan to buy and sell lottery tickets.

    How come there is deafening silence from Chua in regard to the nationwide ban on Malay bibles by the federal government? Didn’t such a ban violate the federal constitution?

    Chua Soi Lek, please speak up?

  6. #6 by boh-liao on Friday, 11 March 2011 - 3:43 pm

    Don’t forget lah, Christians r mortals too, got 2 feed d family n cari makan, cannot ‘yau religion yum sui pow’ 1, so many of them must support UmnoB/BN n eat crumbs lor
    So, just bcos Christians, cannot support UmnoB/BN meh? Sell soul 2 devils 2 feed d flesh mah while living on dis planet, d guy up there understand 1, forgive sinners lor

  7. #7 by k1980 on Friday, 11 March 2011 - 3:47 pm

    #5 //Chua Soi Lek, please speak up?//

    Chua: Gua boh pai Yasaw, gua ormitohud, so none of gua punya bizness.

  8. #8 by St Peter on Friday, 11 March 2011 - 4:07 pm

    St Peter is watching, those who voted ‘Bee-Ant’ will NOT get the key to heaven, they will go to hell. CSL is the evil of the century, definitely he will be burnt to dead.
    The whole nation is suffering now becoz of the Kampong folks who supported the Bee-Ant. Malaysia is beautiful if it is without the Kampong Brains, believe we’ll have lot of Scientists, Mathematicians, Engineers and so on.
    I wanna to tell the Kampong folks, we are not the LOSER, we’ll beat you one day with God’s help. Lets pray together to beat the sons of the evil -> CSL.

  9. #9 by ChinNA on Friday, 11 March 2011 - 4:14 pm

    Malaysian Christians are turning the other cheek, and they are rendering unto Ceasar things that are Ceasar’s and rendering to Ceasar things that are God’s. Is that what is in the Gospel of Matthir?

    Christian must obey the government first and then God. This is what is meant by: Render unto Ceasar things that are Ceasar’s and render to Ceasar things that are God’s.

    For the Bible clearly said in Matthir 28:19-20: And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, some power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach some nations, sometimes baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

    So Thomas, why are you contradicting what is clearly written in the Gospel of Matthir?

    The Christians in Malaysia, they are as Christian as the Laodicean Church. Don’t agree, read Revelations 3:14.

  10. #10 by Loh on Friday, 11 March 2011 - 5:51 pm

    Mamakthir said that on the eve of his operation after his heart attack, in 1989, Lee Kuan Yew offered to fly a medical team down to KL, with the well known cardiac surgeon Dr Victor Chang, to do the surgery. Dr Hasmah thanked Lee and said Mamakthir had made up his mind to have the surgery done by Malaysian doctors.

    Rumours had it that before Mamakthir suffered his heart attack in 1989, he planned to have by-pass surgery done in USA. But the heart attack was massive, and only immediate surgery to resupply the blood flow would save his life. That surgey should involve by-pass. So whether Hasmah had said the surgery was successful or was it that a decision to have local doctor performed the surgery is anybody’s guess. LKY would not be bothered about this issue.

    Mamakthir said about Lee Kuan Yew: ” During our discussion, I came to realize that he did not know all that much, especially on technological matters. I remember one occasion he mentioned that he came across a new process of desalination. But it was not new at all and and had been used generally for years”

    So Lee Kuan Yew did not know the latest technology in desalination, and so he did not know all that much, because Mamakthir knew more than Lee Kuan Yew about desalination. Malaysia needed no desalination, and certainly Mamakthir had other ways to know that the desalination process as described by Lee Kuan Yew as a new process was the stagnant process for years. But writing those petty issues show that Mamakthir indeed suffers from inferiority complex. He must have been overjoyed that the occasion boasted his ego.

  11. #11 by drngsc on Friday, 11 March 2011 - 6:23 pm

    Fellow Christians, we have been patient enough, It is time to stand up and be counted. We must start a “Save our Bible” campaign. No, no violence, but passive Christian response. This government must be fair and not play political football with this issue. Spread the word to one and all. It is our right to practice our religion, and so also our fellow Christians in East Malaysia.
    As always, we must change the tenant in Putrajaya when the time comes to vote.

  12. #12 by sheriff singh on Friday, 11 March 2011 - 8:43 pm

    The Alkitab has been available on line in its entirety for a very long time thanks to modern technology.


    Google and you will find more links.

    Just download, print.

    So what’s the big deal?

    • #13 by ReformMalaysia on Friday, 11 March 2011 - 10:17 pm

      it can be available as a handphone software…. I have both Malay and English versions on my smartphone…

      Voters in Sarawak should send the signal to protest the ‘devilish act’ of the Barisan Nasional government in the coming state ADUN election..

  13. #14 by Taxidriver on Friday, 11 March 2011 - 10:32 pm

    CSL speaking in teochew: Wa bo piang tha kak choi. Ee nang na si kiok wa kai lok yim tua ( DVD ) choot lai, hua yia peh oi ( oh! my father )wa chu si kiau kiau. Chiar tai kei huan liang sio tee.

  14. #15 by tak tahan on Friday, 11 March 2011 - 10:33 pm

    Sing halleh luyah to the lord and not to Najis,please,those cristians.I like the word faith.Faith reminds me of loyalty to one’s god,lover,best friend,pet dog and you name them.Without those faiths mentioned earlier,you’re considered betraying any of them right?Whether God,lover,sincere friend and so on.So you practise what you preach,promise and adore.Why can’t you?With DIGNITY

  15. #16 by waterfrontcoolie on Friday, 11 March 2011 - 10:54 pm

    It looks like both sides are really Kia Soo! If YOU ALL have such strong faith in your belief, then surely you can let the DIVINE makes the final judgement! JUST YOU WAIT!!!!

  16. #17 by limkamput on Saturday, 12 March 2011 - 12:14 am

    Let face it, the Christian community in Malaysia is never a problem. The problem is with the church leadership, who has never failed to appease, acquiesce, and pander to the need of the powerful. Sometimes I hate UMNO less than these treacherous and spineless people who attach more importance to datukship and connection than living out their faith. Big bulls everywhere.

  17. #18 by monsterball on Saturday, 12 March 2011 - 2:37 am

    Get angry to the extreme against the Govt….feeling sad and sorry for Christains…I get moderated.
    The Govt. can be extremists.
    Commentators cannot.

  18. #19 by limkamput on Saturday, 12 March 2011 - 8:59 am

    ///For too long, the Christians, including the pastors and church leaders, have been basking in their comfort zone within the four walls of their churches, with nary a concern about their rights being eroded or tramped on.///

    No, it is more than that. For too long the church leadership want to ensure that the so-called sensitive issues (which are essentially the fundamental rights of every citizen in the country) are kept in the closet. Members of their congregation may not even be allowed to pray for divine intervention for fear of reprisal from the authorities. So much for their faith in God and their responsibility in leading the flock. The government is smart, they just go after the hierarchy and the whole population will be subdued. They used threats or enticement depending on who the leaders are. If you have a chequered past, please don’t be a leader. In no time they will blackmail you. If you love money more than principle, they will soon corrupt you with money, titles, positions and connections. They do this to hapless BN political parties, the religious bodies and good for nothing NGOs. The fastest growing industry in Malaysia today is setting up NGOs and getting financial grants or supports from the government. Hello wise up you nincompoop Malaysians, if you get money from the government, you can’t be NGOs, that is oxymoron.

  19. #20 by habis on Monday, 14 March 2011 - 8:23 pm

    I was educated in a missionary school in the sixties attended sunday classes But today I am still a Buddhist.If we are strong in our faith no amount of persuasion can covert you . It is only those who are weak that harbours fear of other religions. No amount of enticement can change your belief in the God you worship. What is there to fear? Voters in Sarawak and Sabah rise up to protect your Rights under the Malaysian Constitution and wipe of this Corrupt BN Govt for the future of your children by voting the Opposition. Just look at Pakatan State Govts Penang n see the big changes in 3 years of Pakatan statemanship which 52 years of BN not able to achieve Niamah

  20. #21 by Loh on Monday, 14 March 2011 - 10:11 pm

    Mamakthir will write next that it was a special privilege to have religious freedom to practice religion other than Islam. Islamic religion is a right for Muslims. Mamakthir will say that there should exist no privilege for any community, which would mean that those who are not Muslims give up their religion.

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