I refer to the letter by Bishop Hwa Yung, Church is non-partisan, but we’ll keep the money.
Bishop, I understand the predicament the Malaysian church sometimes finds itself to be in. Granted, the church wants to remain non-partisan in matters of politics. But the church cannot adopt a similar attitude when it concerns morality and corruption, which you also observed in your letter.
Jesus made a stand against the hypocrisy of the Pharisees, who were not only religious leaders at that time, but also had political links. John the Baptist lost his live not when he was preaching the gospel, but when he stood up to condemn the immoral act of King Herod. Many of the Old Testament prophets were similarly persecuted when they spoke up against the abuse of power in their time.
You therefore need to ask this, that at the end of the day, what is the message being sent out when the church accepts the grant on the eve of the by-election?
Yes, this is not about which side of the political divide one is in. This is about what is right, and what is wrong. If the Pakatan team also abuse their position/power, you can be rest assured that I and many other Malaysians, will also require them to be accountable.
It just so happens that the person who approved your cheque, has unresolved allegations hanging over his head besides the many other scandals and abuse of power that until today, he has deemed fit not to account himself for.
The church must ask, what does God feel about this? So once again, you need to ask yourself, what is the message being sent out to this corrupt government when the church accepts grants - even though it may be entitled to such payments - on the eve of the by-election?
Further, this particular by-election has shown evidence of just how corrupt the present government is, when you have the PM stating, You help me, I help you’. That must surely take the icing for the most blatant and arrogant act of corrupt vote-buying in recent times.
Not content with issuing Class F contracts, or with attempts of buying over voters with a million-ringgit cheques; the whole world can now see the grin accompanying the offer, on YouTube. I wonder if Barack Obama is now silently regretting having a photo op moment with this person.
Now, is that something that we, as a nation, must be proud of?
But that was the purpose that followed the grant. The same with the allocations for the Chinese school in Hulu Selangor and the issuing of Class F contracts at Kuala Terengganu.
It’s called vote-buying, despite the fact that most of the recipients were entitled to the funds in the first place, though I’ll hold my reservations on the Class F contracts. You see, you cannot convince any Malaysian worth his salt otherwise.
And now my fear is that this present corrupt government will get the impression that churches too, can be easily bought. Just supply them ‘grants’ on the eve of a by-election. You know very well that is how Umno thinks.
I will stand along side with you, if next to accepting the grant, you also criticise the present government for their wanton abuse of power and corrupt ways. So much so that we are now projected to go bankrupt in nine years time.
I will stand alongside you if you criticise the present government for justice that continues to be denied for Altantuya or Teoh Beng Hock.
I will stand alongside you if you ask for justice for Aminulrasyid Amzah.
I will stand along side you, if you ask for the perpetrators of Port Klang Free Zone or those involved in the VK Lingam debacle to face the full weight of justice.
Will you? I hope you will, because if not, all that the church would have done is to say ‘thank you’ to a corrupt government. So Bishop, once again I ask, what kind of message is the church sending out?