Poor Liow Tiong Lai, he does not know he is making a fool of himself claiming that Christmas messages should be meaningless “sweet nothings” – a reflection of his political naivette and the political party he represents
Poor MCA President Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai. He does not know he is making a fool of himself claiming that Christmas messages should be meaningless “sweet nothings” –a reflection of his political naivette and the political party he represents.
Is Liow aware what is topmost in the minds of Malaysian Christians this Christmas?
Pay attention to the Sabah Council of Churches which prayed this Christmas for truth to prevail in Malaysia, especially among those in power.
Council president Rev Jerry Dusing said truth must be established on the issues concerning 1MDB and the “hudud bill”.
He said: “What is the truth of 1MDB? As Malaysians are left in the dark, we find ourselves frustratingly waiting for foreign nations to expose the truth about this mystery”.
Dusing also asked for the truth about PAS President, Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang’s private member’s bill to amend the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965, which UMNO Ministers have announced will be taken over by the government although there is pin-drop silence from MCA, Gerakan, MIC and the Sabah and Sarawak component parties of Barisan Nasional.
Is there consensus by all the 14 Barisan Nasional parties for the BN government take-over of Hadi’s private member’s bill motion, or is UMNO hegemony so fully established in Barisan Nasional that what UMNO wants, UMNO gets?
The Archbishop of Kuala Lumpur Julian Leow Beng Kim, who is also president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Malaysia, fully endorsed Dusing and the Sabah Council of Churches in their concerns for the truth to prevail.
Speaking to reporters at the annual Christian Federation of Malaysia Christmas hi-tea in Kuala Lumpur on Christmas Day, Liew said there was nothing political with voicing out what the public has been asking themselves.
“Asking people to own up to what is happening is a normal request, especially when public money is in question.”
Archbishop Leow said the Church must speak out against injustice and wrongdoing or “we are not doing our duty”.
Would Liow accuse Dusing and the Sabah Council of Churches as well as the Archbishop of Kuala Lumpur, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference and the Christian Federation of Malaya of “negative political remarks”, and forgetting that Christmas is the celebration of the Nativity and not negativity, an accusation he made against the DAP Secretary-General and Penang Chief Minister for Guan Eng’s Christmas message?
At least the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Paul Low showed he is better than the three “7/11” MCA Ministers when he rejected Liow’s “sweet nothings for Christmas” concept and at the annual Christian Federation of Malaysia Christmas hi-tea in Kuala Lumpur, spoke of the need for the Christian community in Malaysia to be politically relevant and make their voices heard so as to influence policy in ways which reflects their religious convictions.
Now I understand a bit what Low meant when he said at the same function last year that if the government was God-fearing, there would be no need for him to be in the Cabinet.
I hope the Cabinet meeting tomorrow, which is the last Cabinet meeting of the year, should be a retrospective and even introspective one, to understand how Malaysian nation-building had gone so horribly wrong, highlighted by the international multi-billion dollar 1MDB money-laundering scandal, Malaysia regarded world-wide as a “global kleptocracy”, the shame of being excluded from PISA 2015 because of cheating by the Education Ministry, and the plunge in economic confidence in Malaysia reflected by the unprecedented plunge in the value of the Malaysian ringgit.
All this happened because the Prime Minister, the Cabinet and the government leadership strayed from the five Rukunegara principles of Belief in God; Loyalty to King and Country; Upholding the Constitution; Rule of Law and Good Behaviour and Morality; while Ministers like Liow who held tenaciously to the concept that they should only utter “sweet nothings” in their Christmas messages and speeches.
Liow should stop being a frog in the well, but look at what is happening in the larger world.
In the United Kingdom, Britain’s Christian leaders are focusing their Christmas messages on uncertainty, anxiety and fear at the end of a tumultuous year on the global stage.
In his Christmas Day sermon at Canterbury Cathedral, the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby warned against putting trust in the wrong things and values in the wrong place.
The head of the Church of England and leader of the worldwide Anglican communion said “The end of 2016 finds us all in a different kind of world, one less predictable and certain, which feels more awash with fear and division”.
He lamented: “Uncertainty in the midst of so much – but far from universal – prosperity is a sign of our trust being in the wrong things. It tells us that our values are in the wrong place … Economic progress, technological progress, communication progress hasn’t resulted in economic justice. It hasn’t delivered glory for us.”
Cardinal Vincent Nichols, the archbishop of Westminster and leader of the Catholic Church in England and Wales, also addressed the challenges of the past year in his midnight mass homily at Westminster Cathedral.
He quoted WB Yeats’s 1919 poem, The Second Coming: “Things fall apart, the centre cannot hold / Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world.”
These words, Nichols told the congregation, “reflect the deep and widening sense of uncertainty many feel today. This is not the time or place to reflect on reasons or causes, but it is right to recognise these anxieties and fears.”
Referring to the Bible story of the shepherds who found a place by Jesus’s crib in Bethlehem, the cardinal said that in the face of anxiety about the “current instability in economic prospects and in the effectiveness of political structures,” people should “strive for truth, respect, compassion and forgiveness”.
In the Vatican, Pope Francis condemned terrorism in his Christmas message and urged Christians “to allow the Child in the manger” to “challenge us” to care for children who have been forsaken by the world.
Francis urged the Church to care for children who are “lying not in a crib, caressed with affection by their mothers and fathers, but in squalid “mangers that devour dignity” – “Children who hide underground to escape bombardment, on the pavements of large cities, in the hold of a boat overladen with immigrants”.
Would Liow accuse the Pope Francis, the Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby or the Catholic Archbishop of Westminster Cardinal Vincent Nichols of forgetting Christmas is the celebration of the Nativity and not negativity?