Every 4 to 5 years Christians would invariably ask about their involvement in politics and specifically if the church should be involved in partisan politics and to what extent?
If being partisan means pledging ones allegiance and backing it up with monetary resources then the answer is definitely a NO. The church pays its allegiance to no one but the Great Shepherd of the Church Himself, the Lord Jesus Christ. The core purpose of the church is to live for and to glorify Christ in all things. There has been accusations by politicians and Muslim academicians who allude to the fact that the church has a political motive to take over Malaysia politically. The church has no such lowly calling for why should the church bother about ruling a nation on earth temporarily when it has the high calling of ruling the earth in eternity? (Revelation 5)
Should the church then bother herself with what happens to the country? Absolutely because the welfare of our lives are affected by the policies of the government.
In this upcoming General Elections however it is very clear that the Prime Minister and the incumbent government is party to the misappropriation of millions of dollars of the Malaysian Sovereign Wealth Fund called 1MDB. The US Dept of Justice has claimed that this case is the biggest Kleptocracy case in US history. They have begun seizing assets which finds its paper trail to 1MDB.
“These cases involve billions of dollars that should have been used to help the people of Malaysia, but instead was used by a small number of individuals to fuel their astonishing greed,”
Acting U.S. Attorney Brown.
The UK, Switzerland, Singapore, Hong Kong and the United States have opened investigations into the misappropriation of 1MDB funds and arrests have already been made in these respective countries.
The Prime Minister of Malaysia himself has admitted to receiving USD700 million into his personal account. It does not matter whether this is a private deal or if some Saudi Prince loves the Malaysian Prime Minister or his work, the fact that the leader of a sovereign nation has received such a huge sum into his private account is cause for great concern. If indeed it is not the money from the Sovereign Wealth Fund then it is in fact a matter of national security that a foreign nation would deposit USD700 million into the personal account of the Prime Minister. It puts into question the integrity and loyalty of the Prime Minister to the nation and no democratically elected leader in the world would have survived politically from such blatant abuse.
The full investigative reports of the 1MDB fiasco by the Parliamentary Select Committee and by the Attorney General is kept as Official Secrets and is not released to the public for accountability. The Parliamentary Speaker would not allow any debates on the 1MDB crisis. The Attorney General was forced to resign shortly after the case when public. The new Attorney general has closed the case. It trully begs the question of what is the Prime Minister trying to hide?
When such evidence of impropriety have surfaced, the question that confronts us is “should we keep quiet in the face of such blatant corruption?” We cannot. No honest citizen especially Christians should close an eye to the injustice and corruption in Malaysia. If our neighbors house was in the middle of being robbed, do we not at the least run in to call the police so that the robbery could be stopped and the robbers caught. This is our responsibility as citizens of Malaysia and our calling as Christians.
In a parliamentary democracy like Malaysia, we exercise our rights to elect our leaders who would represent us in the Parliament and in the Executive. This democratic exercise occurs every 4 to 5 years in a General Election at the polling booths all over Malaysia. In most cases there are two parties contesting. We know one is already untrustworthy and has a proven record of stealing and have grossly misused public funds. Do we continue to give our support to the robber who robbed our neighbor? Of course not. We in fact demand that justice be done and restitution be made.
So we pray for justice, righteousness and truth to sweep over our nation. The Catholic Bishop of Malacca and Johor has issued a call to national prayer and in it he called on his church to pray for God’s intervention and for change in this upcoming General Elections.
The church has an opportunity to speak up clearly without fear or favour of any political party. The church remains above and beyond any political party so that we can remain neutral and speak up when there is evidence of corruption, when the poor are marginalized, the widows and orphans are struggling to make ends meet and when the aliens among us are exploited. If we appear partisan especially in a General Election, then so be it but history has proven that evil will triumph when good men do nothing or say nothing.