the christian federation of malaysia (CFM) has launched a ‘vote wisely’ campaign on 14 feb. and began distributing leaflets.
the heading of the leaflet says:
christians! be responsible and good citizens
pray for the general election! cast your votes!
for further reading, see bob’s blog, where you can also download the leaflet in four languages (in .pdf format). take a look. it’s short and sweet and to the point.
on 21 feb. CFM issued a longer message. in the cover letter that goes with the message, it says:
"join our hearts and pray for a peaceful and transparent election. Aa the end, may good political leaders be elected who will uphold the federal constitution and the rights of all citizens contained therein".
again, read the full message at bob’s, where you can also download the .pdf file in four languages.
the international herald tribune, asia pacific, mentioned about the CFM’s message.
Malaysia’s churches are wading cautiously into politics by urging Christians to vote for candidates in next month’s general elections who champion religious freedom in the Muslim-majority society.
read further click on the above link.
this message came from our very own bishop (penang diocese – northern area). i type it for the bishop on 18 feb and was suppose to have it up on 19 feb but since i took leave on 19 feb for a press conference and meet with ACA, i had it uploaded to the penang diocese website only on 20 feb. the other 3 languages are not ready yet since we do not have full time translators working in our diocese, thus had to send the translation to outsiders, which will take some time. hopefully all translation will be ready by this monday (25 feb), then i can upload them.
here is the full text of the bishop’s message:
7th February 2008
My dear Fathers, Religious and Lay Faithful,
PASTORAL LETTER: 2008 GENERAL ELECTION
Greetings of Peace to you.
With the dissolution of the Parliament on 13th February 2008, Catholics, once again, have an opportunity to exercise their right to decide who should administer this beloved country of ours. This is a golden opportunity for us to come out in full force to exercise this right, because every vote is valuable.
It is perhaps easy to give in to the temptation that one vote does not make any difference to the overall result. Voting, however, is the sacred Christian duty of all Catholics and the exercise of this duty is independent of what the final outcome may be. God wills that the leaders of a country rule with justice and compassion, always placing the interest of the people first. In casting your vote, you are answering to God’s call to establish a Government that is just and equitable to all Malaysians regardless of race, colour and creed.
In choosing a candidate, Catholics are called to:
*prayerful discernment in the Holy Spirit.
*seek from above the wisdom to recognise the candidates who conform to the values that serve the common good.
*make wise and informed decision.
*be aware of contemporary issues that occupy the minds of ordinary Malaysians including rising prices and increased incidents of crime and corruption.
*be concerned over issues involving fundamental rights such as freedom of assembly, expression and religion.
Catholics are called to scrutinise the track record of candidates who have had the opportunity to serve the people. Have promises been fulfilled or have they remained just promises? As for new candidates, Catholics must understand what these candidates stand for in relation to the contemporary issues and whether their stand represents the common good which includes welfare of the poor, sick and disabled.
The democratic process that we have in Malaysia, despite all its imperfections, offers us a God-given right to exercise our free will to put in power suitable men and women who will make decisions that have a direct impact on the lives of ordinary Malaysians. Hence, let us do our part by casting our vote wisely and prudently on 8th March 2008 for a better Malaysia.
During the Sundays before the election, include a special prayer during the Eucharistic Celebrations.
God bless you.
Bishop Antony Selvanayagam
Bishop of Penang
NOTE: To download the above letter in .doc format, please click here.