Malaysian Politics, Money and the Church
One of the many fallout from the Sibu by-election in Sawawak in which the ruling coalition Barisan Nasional (BN) lost is the the money given to four Methodist churches in Sibu just before the polling day.
Haris Ibrahim a Muslim made some insightful comments in Desperately seeking Peter. The Methodist church is in need of your ‘rock-like’ foundation
While I share the sentiments of Goh Keat Peng in his blog ‘We don’t take such money’
I respectfully appeal to the churches directly involved in this episode:
If it isn’t true and it didn’t happen, then please say so.
If it is true, offered and received, give it all back.
WE DON’T WANT SUCH MONEY. Let the church be poor (as a church mouse) but
as the Book of Proverbs say, poor but happy keeping a clear conscience.
I also respectfully appeal to all Malaysian churches through the Christian Federation of Malaysia:
Please let us send a clear, unmistakeable and irrevocable message to the country and the world. As citizens and tax-payers we deserve to practise and observe our religious faith in peaceful and orderly fashion and we should get reasonable amounts of resources to enable us to do so. Any sitting government is welcome to sit down with us, discuss and understand in a timely and civil way our religion and our community’s needs and concerns regarding places of worship, burial grounds and our bibles in Bahasa Malaysia as well as how we will continue to serve all Malaysians in need through our social services. Provide the facilities and resources justly due to us but please don’t give us “special grants” only at the eve of by-elections. WE DON’T TAKE SUCH MONEY. No, thank you. Never under such circumstances.
However it must be noted that in Malaysia, Christians often only get a break before by-elections or the general elections - approval of building plans, conversion of land for religious use or permit for large Christian gatherings. Is that Malaysian politics or God answering prayers?