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GE 13: What would Jesus do?

PETALING JAYA: The relationship between the Churches and the federal government has been nothing short of tensed as numerous contentious issues have placed both at loggerheads.

Though unspoken, it is an open secret that the faithfuls of the various Christian denominations and their leaders are seething in silent anger.

The grapevine claims that while these shepherds appear to be apolitical in public for obvious reasons, they however whisperotherwise in the ears of their respective flocks behind closed doors.

It has always been said that apart from the devout Christians, the eyes and ears of the government are also present during services in certain Churches to keep track of the subversive elements there.

And the anger of the Christians stems from the policies and actions of the government vis-à-vis Umno such as the legal row over the usage of the Arabic term Allah, which led to the firebombing of several churches.

Then there was the accusation of a Christian plot to seize control of the nation in order to undermine the position of Islam, an allegation put forth by Umno’s mouthpiece Utusan Malaysia.

Another thorny issue was the charge of an attempt to proselytise Muslims.

Several Christian leaders, like Bishop Paul Tan, have been vocal in their criticism against the government and even lent their support to movements like Bersih.

In a bid to mend the strained ties and convert voters, Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak flew to the Vatican to shake hands with Pope Benedict XVI.

But observers noted that it did little to convince the Christian electorate.

With the 13th and Najib’s first general election as head of state drawing closer, a public forum will be held this evening with regard to the upcoming contest from a Christian perspective.

And the topic of discussion: What will Jesus be doing in Malaysia today?

The speakers at the 7pm forum which will be held at Dignity International, A-2-7 Pusat Perdagangan Section 8 here are Rev Dr Hermen Shastri and Paul Sinnappan.

Shastri is the general-secretary of the Council of Churches of Malaysia and former executive secretary of the Christian Federation of Malaysia for 11 years whereas Sinnappan is a lay theologian, social worker in the Church and social activist working with plantation workers since the 1970s.

The fence-sitters

A media statement on the forum explained that the cowardly fence-sitters are the sole obstacle in preventing political change in Malaysia.

“As the winds of change blow in this most exciting times of political change in Malaysia, the only obstacle that is preventing the change from actually taking place is the Malaysian ‘fence-sitters’ who for the last 54 years have been afraid to make that choice for change.

“Many among this also reside in our Churches and sit glued to benches and pews during Sunday service without fail, listening fervently to what Jesus may be saying to them,” it read.

The statement added that there is a growing awakening among all Malaysians on the need for real change – a reform of the political landscape for Malaysians.

“Yet there seems to be a disjoint of the faith growth within the Churches and the growth without among all Malaysians. This seemingly two worlds of faith and politics are a challenge to all Christians. Are there two lives or only one life, [which] we live according to the will of God?,” it said.

The speakers, read the statement, will take the audience through the Bible to study the political implications and experiences of being a Christian.

“This is to help us enter into present-day reality of the Malaysian political context, and answer the perennial thought: what would Jesus do in Malaysia Today?” it added.


  1. I don't see any critical situation between churches and federal government. only those desperately will try to make the small cases to become a big issue in order for them to get more supporters among non-Malay..

    1. Those who are desperate to rule to country will do anything to fulfill their dream.

    2. stop to politicized religion.

  2. Perkara macam ni sangant sensitif, jangan mempolitikan agama semata-mata untuk kepuasan diri sendiri.

    1. betul itu. Yang kita mahu biarkan politik dengan cara mereka dan tidak perlu mengaitkan isu agama untuk berpolitik.

    2. agama jgnlah dijadikan bahan politik.

  3. AFTER almost 55 years since Merdeka and 49 years since the formation of Malaysia, we still have some way to go before we can be described as being truly one nation and people, under God, loyal to king and country, upholding our Constitution and the rule of law, and conducting ourselves with courtesy and morality in our way of life and towards one another. That definition is, in fact, based on the Rukun Negara, our national philosophy declared and instituted by royal proclamation on Merdeka Day, 1970,

    1. However, we know from history and in other multiracial, multi-cultural, multireligious societies that success in achieving peaceful coexistence requires much more -- sound policies, sincere effort and the will by both the government and the people to stay the course. In our present milieu, the overriding need is for peaceful coexistence among the different groups (racial, ethnic, indigenous, religious, gender, etc) and in particular pragmatism, objectivity and cooperation among our ethnic-based political parties. Only then, can we begin to see real political stability and socio-economic development proceed unhindered by squabbles and conflicts among the different groups in our country.

    2. There is the need to address and ameliorate, through a multi-pronged, coordinated, responsive and persistent approach, the inherent tendency for a plural society like ours to disintegrate or compartmentalise itself into competing and opposing groups. The next requirement is that we, as a nation, cannot afford or allow racial or any inter-group conflict to simmer and escalate, if we are to achieve sustained economic development and social progress. The continuation of conflict, accusations and counter-accusations, malpractices and misappropriation and vilifications, by anyone in any form, will only divert scarce national resources, time and energy away from our more urgent and demanding economic and social imperatives. The solution to such inter-group conflicts lies in empowering the people and all groups within the country through a viable, equitable and enduring sharing of power and wealth.

    3. The four pillars of the government's transformation policy, truly implemented in word and deed, constitute a good basis to achieve progress and development among all groups. These are:

      The 1Malaysia, People First, Performance Now concept for promoting unity among all Malaysians;

      The Government Transformation Programme to deliver the outcomes defined under the National Key Result Areas;

      The New Economic Model, emanating from the Economic Transformation Programme, to transform Malaysia by 2020 into a developed, competitive and high-income economy that is both inclusive and sustainable; and,

      The 10th Malaysia Plan (2011-2015) being the strategic and operational tool to implement both the government and economic transformation programmes.

    4. Critical to achieving the aims of the four pillars of our national policy is the need for sustained and sizeable economic growth to generate new jobs, business opportunities, higher incomes and increased wealth for all and for every Malaysian to be a part of creating it and deriving its benefits. For greater cohesion and sharing of power and wealth, the expansion of the economy is crucial, together with better distribution of opportunities and incomes.A sound economy also helps in eradication of poverty and in equalising disparities, wherever these exist and which frequently are the cause of frustration and friction between various groups and even result in anti-social conduct gaining ground.

      Achieving continuing and dynamic economic growth calls for capable and effective management of the macro-economy by the public sector and of industries by the private sector with close complementarity and mutual support between the two. Additionally, the Public Service Commission and all other national bodies should be made more representative of the various groups in the country to ensure wider and more constructive consultation and consensus in the formulation, implementation and monitoring of laws, policies and programmes.

  4. We won't be able to know what will God do...He got his own plan and we only need to wait and wait.....until the day is come then we know what will happen.

  5. But for me to mixed up politic and Religion, is something, emm i don't know but it is not really match. I don't know but whatever will God do, it must be a good decision... God is good all the time...


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