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by Martin Jalleh
Christians of Sarawak, your hour has come! May you have the courage to respond to the clarion call of leading the charge of change in your State and country.
May your vote convince the PM that the religious freedom of Christians and other faiths cannot rest merely on his sudden goodwill conveyed at cordial, congenial and courteous close-door meetings.
May your choice reflect the earnest prayer of Christians that the government honor and respect our basic constitutional rights, and not subject them to changes according to political expediency of the moment.
May your courage bring to the fore the problems related to religious harmony which the BN Government has created or is complicit to, its conceited responses and ad-hoc solutions which contradict its very own policies!
The challenge before you goes far beyond that of the recent Bible controversy. It is to express distinctly to the PM the deep disappointment and discontent of Christians being discriminated against over the years.
May you covey very clearly to the PM the concern and consternation of Christians of being made victims of the frequent contravention (with impunity) of the constitutional guarantees of religious freedom.
May you echo the growing anguish and anger of Christians who refuse to be cowed by the constant taunts, threats and tirades of “Little Mullah Napoleons” in Umno, Perkasa, Pembela, the Home Ministry, etc.
May yours be a conscious stand against those who are a cog in Umno’s machine, a party which has politicised religion for its survival by creating unfounded insecurities and fear amongst Muslims and a distrust of other religions.
The PM was right. Change brings with it uncertainty. But God will see you through. A vote for BN will bring you the “certainty” of continued racial and religious polarisation and compound the culture of corruption, cronyism and crippling fear.
May your concerns be not confined to the well-being of Christians alone but may they envelope, and embrace the struggles encountered by the peoples of all races and religions, yes, even the Muslims too.
May you champion the common good and be an answer to the longing and prayer of deliverance of the long-suffering people living in long-houses and languishing in abject poverty.
May you make it your Christian duty to stand up for the marginalised indigenous peoples of Sarawak who have been deceived, discriminated against, displaced, dislodged, dispossessed, deprived and disempowered.
May your Christian compassion move you to act justly for those who have become disillusioned, demoralised and dysfunctional by the divisive and diabolical designs of the powers that be.
May God free you from the “contamination” of Semenanjung. May your Christian conscience prompt you to chose the side which Jesus would — those who have no cash, credit, clout, cables or connection!
By the grace of God, may your response to the Christian call to the conversion of heart (especially as we come close to the climax of Lent) be a personal transformation from one of compromise to courage and from convenience and comfort to commitment to justice and peace.
May God be with you as you exercise you Christian duty of casting vote in this crucial moment of Sarawak’s history! May God bless Sarawak!
(15 April 2011)