18th July 2012
CFM LETTER TO THE MALAYSIAN CHURCHES & CHRISTIANS ON THE FORTHCOMING 13th GENERAL ELECTIONS
VOTE WISELY, VOTE FOR A BETTER MALAYSIA
In the first two chapters of Genesis, the first book of the Old Testament, we read of two separate accounts of God giving to Adam rule and authority over the earth and all that live in it. In the first book of the New Testament, the Gospel according to St. Matthew, chapter 5 and verses 13 to 15, Christians are told that they are the salt of the earth and the light of the world.
These two passages and the collective message of our Holy Scripture point to the inescapable conclusion that Christians have a duty to protect and safeguard the earth, and all that live in it. Christians have not only been granted rights of leadership, but also the responsibility of stewardship.
In the context of the nation state, Christians, like other citizens, have been granted certain rights, including the right to participate in the democratic process of a country. This right to participate must be balanced with the responsibility of exercising that right, and doing so wisely.
The Christian Federation of Malaysia (CFM) therefore invites and encourages all Christians to be conscious of their political rights - to vote, and to use the power of the vote to elect a government that will ensure justice with equity and the well-being of our nation. The CFM is not politically motivated nor is it endorsing any one political party.
It is of fundamental importance in a democracy, that citizens actually exercise their right to vote. Having the right to vote without utilising it is of little use.
Voting ensures that every Malaysian citizen participates in bringing about a more just and equitable Malaysia for succeeding generations to come.
Therefore, it is important that as Christians, we undertake our duty as citizens and exercise our right to vote and express our preference for a political coalition that will best achieve our vision of a better Malaysia.
In terms of our vision for a better Malaysia, CFM encourages Malaysian Christians to think about the following priorities:
A nation guided by the ethics of respect for human dignity. This means a nation where its citizens are engaged fairly as equals, and their rights respected in accordance with the provisions as guaranteed under the Federal Constitution. Such a nation treats its citizens with understanding, honesty and mutual respect.
A nation where extremism of all kinds is rejected and quickly curtailed. Racial and religious bigotry, manipulation and lies that have now come to define the social sphere, the print media and political posturing must end immediately.
A nation free of corruption, putting in place strengthened state and public institutions whose members conduct themselves with integrity, transparency and accountability.
A nation that works towards the fair and equitable distribution of wealth and ensuring well-being for all, regardless of citizenship status, ethnicity or creed. Every citizen and every community should be empowered and enabled to pursue economic activity and achieve advancement duly and fairly supported by the government where needed and necessary without favour or discrimination and without being overly or unfairly supported by the state.
A nation where care for the environment is privileged over self-seeking capitalism and where its political leaders weigh all decisions with ecological interest and sustainability as an essential aspect of development.
A nation where language and education are de-linked from political expedience.
A nation where elitism and inequality is not rampant and people are recognised and respected as human beings and not discriminated against due to social position, educational attainment, political beliefs, gender, race or religion.
A nation where religious freedom to profess, practice and propagate one's religion is allowed to flourish without undue curtailment from the law, restrictions or even prohibition.
The CFM encourages Christians to pray that good leaders will emerge from the 13th general elections who will not only fulfil the above criteria, but who have the interest of our beloved nation and its people as their first and only priority.
Malaysians today are better educated, politically and socially more aware, and geographically more mobile than at any time in our history, and these have led to a citizenry that is more knowledgeable and experienced.
Churches have a responsibility to help guide their congregations to use their wisdom in the exercise of their right to vote in order to bring about a nation where all Malaysians, and those who choose to make their living in this country, can live in harmony and prosperity, peace and justice.
May the grace and the peace of God be with you.
Bishop Datuk Ng Moon Hing
Chairman and the Executive Committee
The Christian Federation of Malaysia