At our recently concluded Townhall Meetings, we reiterated the four things that are our focus this year and beyond.
Monday, April 6, 2015
Friday, October 10, 2014
Called BUMBLEBEE, the mobile resource centre is a modified 1-ton truck that is designed to bring a little sunshine into the lives of these children, and indirectly promote community development.
Together with volunteers, we supervise simple educational activities, read-alouds, or simply let the children do as they please. We provide ‘space’ for relationship-building, life-enriching lessons and encourage collaboration to build friendships.
We need volunteers (older teens and adults) who will spend time with the children and befriend them. You will assist to engage these children in simple games and educational activities. Volunteers provide supervision and ensure that order is maintained, and help is available when necessary.
More importantly, your presence will go a long way to build friendships and improve community relations among people of different races, especially among those who are culturally different from us.
Presently, Malaysian Care sends BUMBLEBEE to several low-cost locations.
In Setapak, BUMBLEBEE visits PPR Sri Semarak, Air Panas on the third Saturday monthly, starting at 4pm, where Hope Evangelical Free Church (Hope EFC) hosts English Language activities and a Reading Room. There are plans to increase visits to nearby PPRs as and when we have enough volunteers.
HOW MUCH TIME DO I COMMIT AND DO I NEED TRAINING?
Each visit is no more than 2 hours long. We will also advise that you attend a short briefing session to be aware of the dynamics of our activities and understand cultural sensitivities of the community we operate in.
We are constantly looking for people who want to make a difference in our society. Here's a simple way you can do it.
Make yourself available. Make yourself present. Make an effort to interact. Make time to make friends. Along the way, you will build bridges and promote community neighbourliness among people of all walks of life, especially those who are more vulnerable and less privileged.
Please contact Sook Ching (0126779884)
or Pei Yin (0126515818)
Sunday, September 21, 2014
Wednesday, September 17, 2014
Sabah churches move off secession clamour
17 Sept 2014
Key issues they want tackled are religious freedom and human rights, which we outlined in in a Malaysia Day message termed as their “Kota Kinabalu Declaration”.
The clamour for Sabah and Sarawak to pull out of Malaysia has refused to die down, especially in social media, and grew louder in the run-up to the yesterday’s Malaysia Day celebrationss despite threats by the authorities to use draconian laws on them, including the Sedition Act.
Quoting Scriptures, the 31-paragraph statement declared that as “A triple-braided rope is not easily broken” (Ecclesiastes 4:12b), therefore, “we declare our commitment to defend the sovereignty of Malaysia as a federation composed of Sabah, Sarawak and Malaya.”
It emphasised that the Federation of Malaysia comprises Sabah, Sarawak and the Federation of Malaya as equal partners when the new nation state was formed on Sept 16, 1963.
Alluding to the threat of Ketuanan Melayu or Malay supremacy by extreme right wing elements, the statement pointed out that the Federal Constitution is the supreme law of the nation and all citizens have equal protection under the law. Any other form of supremacy is clearly ultra vires the constitution and unacceptable.
The Kota Kinabalu Declaration was issued today, at the end of a three-day revival meeting themed “Moving into a New Season” together with a “Mitabang Mamangkis” which is the climax of all the 21 Mamangkis gatherings held at various towns in Sabah over the past two years.
Mamangkis is the war cry and victory song from the old head-hunting days of the Sarawak natives, but has been contextualised as the clarion call for Christian revival. Mitabang is the call for believers to close ranks and to help one another.
The Kota Kinabalu Declaration is signed by Sabah Council of Churches president Bishop Thomas Tsen, Commission on Sabah Affairs of the National Evangelical Christian Fellowship (NECF) chairperson Rev Jerry Dusing, Perpaduan Anak Negeri (PAN) Sabah or Native Solidarity chairperson Pastor Esther Golingi, and by Pastors Steven Choon and Daniel Chin of the Kota Kinabalu Pastors Fellowship.
The declaration states that under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and in recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world.
Article 18 states that everyone has the freedom of thought, conscience and religion. This right includes either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his or her religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance and the freedom to change one’s religion.
It cited Article 19 of the UN Declaration as declaring that everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression. This right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.
The senior clergymen said, “The proliferation of oppressive laws that violate our fundamental civil liberties continues unabated, the legislative, executive and the judiciary must take urgent measures to remove such offensive laws and selective prosecutions and to restore just, fair, and democratic principles of governance as envisaged by the framers of our constitution and our founding fathers.”
On the position of Native Christians, the statement said, “By the will of the Sovereign Lord, more than two-thirds of the Christian population is made up of Malay-speaking bumiputera believers, the first born of the land; the Orang Asli of Peninsular Malaysia and the Anak Negeri of Sabah and Sarawak.”
“The prophetic Word of God declares: “Every place that the sole of your feet will tread upon I have given to you just as I promised to Moses.” (Joshua 1:3).”
It said that under Article 153 of the constitution, Malays in the peninsula and indigenous peoples of Sabah and Sarawak are accorded a special position and privileges, but the Orang Asli of Peninsular Malaysia are excluded from such protection and it is timely, after half a century of such unjust exclusion, that the rights of the indigenous Orang Asal communities must be given due recognition with utmost urgency.
It also said while the special position of the Malays and natives of Malaysia shall be safeguarded, it is timely that the legitimate interests of other communities in Malaysia be equally observed and upheld in accordance with the provisions of Article 153.
While affirming Islam as the religion of the Federation, it said other religions may be practised and people of other faiths shall have the constitutional right and freedom to profess, practise, propagate, and manage their respective faiths without interference and intervention by the State.
“The constitution provides for laws to be enacted for the administration of Islam, such laws shall not be applied to non-Muslims, nor shall non-Muslims be subject to shariah law,” the statement says.
It also pointed out that freedom of religion is guaranteed by the Federal Constitution and set out in the first of the 18-Point and 20-Point conditions of Sarawak and Sabah respectively under the Malaysia Agreement, but the legislative, executive and judiciary have persistently and wilfully trampled upon such rights of people of other faiths by making laws and decisions that militate against such freedom.
“The prohibition of the usage of the word ‘Allah’ by bumiputera Christians to refer to the one true God and the restricted ban on the use of the Al-Kitab, the Malay language Bible, since the early 1980s are instances of gross violations of human rights.”
The senior clergymen also hit out at the judiciary at its highest levels for increasingly becoming more inclined to defend the supremacy of race and religion than to abide by their oath of office to defend the supremacy of the constitution.
It said, “The judiciary must act with justice and righteousness so that the ordinary citizen can drink from the fountain of the King’s justice, without fear or favour.”
On the usage of the word ‘Allah’ in the Al-Kitab (Malay Bible), the statement said the right to determine the liturgy and theology, including the translation of Holy Scriptures of non-Muslims, reside exclusively with the respective ecclesiastical authorities. The state, including Islamic agencies and the sultans as heads of Islam in their respective states, must not intervene in the exclusive province of other faiths.
It said, “The crisis over the usage of the word ‘Allah’ and the Al-Kitab remains unresolved for over 30 years now. The Malay speaking members of the Church in Malaysia have no other alternative but to continue to use this word and the Al-Kitab in the manner their forefathers have done so.”
It also took to task extremist dakwah elements who undertake aggressive Islamisation by both covert and overt means to convert bumiputera Christians through intimidation, deception, or inducements, particularly targeting remote and poor villagers, as well as the conversion of school children living in government hostels.
“The National Registration Department, despite its denials, is also classifying native Christians with ‘bin’ or ‘binti’ in their names as Muslims in their MyKad, without their knowledge or consent. Such unlawful and oppressive practices must stop immediately,” it said.
It also accused the government of having allowed hundreds of thousands of illegal migrants to inundate the country by giving them identity cards and/or citizenship since the 1970s, while scores of native-born people remain as stateless persons.
It said the influx of illegal migrants ending up as eligible voters through dubious means has grown to the extent that they seriously undermine free, fair and democratic elections.
The clergymen also demanded that “against such acts of treason, action to the full extent of the law must be taken against those who perpetrate such treason, regardless of how politically influential they may be in the ruling regime.”
BOB TEOH retired recently as a newspaper editor. He was the National Union of Journalists secretary-general from 1984 to 1986.