CFM Merdeka Day & Malaysia Day 2018 Message
A NEW MALAYSIA, A NEW HOPE
This year’s Merdeka Day and Malaysia Day celebrations take on a new meaning for all Malaysians as they follow on the momentous outcome of the 14th General Election that saw for the first time a change of government in the nation since its independence in 1957 and the formation of Malaysia in 1963.
Malaysians are looking forward to being a united nation as envisioned by our founding fathers when she was first established and there is a palpable sense of anticipation and expectation that Malaysia will truly be a nation of harmony, peace, opportunity, equality and prosperity.
Let us, therefore, approach this season of commemoration and celebration with deep gratitude and joyful thanksgiving for a peaceful election and transition to a new Government. Let us offer thanks and praises to God for His mercies and for blessing our nation with new hope.
CFM urges prayers for our Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister, the members of the Cabinet and the leaders of the respective State governments. May all our national and State leaders be given vital good health and the strength and courage to administer our beloved nation and rebuild our economy with uncompromising integrity, honesty, humility, compassion, wisdom, diligence, fairness, justice and transparency.
Let us also pray that members of the Opposition will rise up to play a credible role as the check-and-balance of the Government, building a viable bi-party system to hold the Government accountable for delivering on all promises in Pakatan Harapan's election manifesto for the good and well-being of all Malaysians.
Believing that sin and corruption will ultimately lead to the downfall of any nation for “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people” (Proverbs 14:34), we urge the Government to formulate laws, policies and best practices that will eliminate all manner of corruption at all levels. Although wrongdoers must certainly be held to account, we also urge the government to act fairly and justly and not out of political vengeance against the supporters of the previous Government. Malaysia needs to build a mature democracy where there is no dread of reprisals whenever there is a change of government.
While removing the Goods and Services Tax (GST) to alleviate the hardship of the middle and lower income groups has been welcomed, more, much more, must be done to rebuild our economy. The review and cancellation of extravagant mega projects is an excellent start but an in-depth review of policies to uplift poor and needy Malaysians of all ethnicities and creeds is also urgently required. If we are to build a just and equitable society for succeeding generations, poverty needs to be meaningfully defined by reference to the actual cost of living so that effective programmes for advancement with state support may be implemented not only to eradicate the poverty of a significant proportion of our peoples including native peoples such as the Penans and the Orang Asli as well as the urban poor but also to narrow the shameful disparity between the richest and the poorest among us.
Let us join hands and do our part in rebuilding this nation. So much needs to be done for a genuine national transformation to take place. Let us, therefore, put aside our differences, banish all inflammatory rhetoric which causes dissension and division amongst us, honour and respect each other as true Malaysians, unite as one in our efforts and work with a new spirit and renewed heart to take our beloved nation to ever greater heights that there may be peace, harmony and prosperity for all.
Let us take great pride in our wonderful nation by giving our full support to our national celebration and by proudly flying our national flag, the Jalur Gemilang, at our homes, offices and religious centres.
To all Malaysians: Sayangi Malaysiaku!
Selamat Hari Merdeka dan Selamat Hari Malaysia!
Excerpt of Bishop Ong's Speech
Official Opening of the Wesley Methodist School Penang [International]
5 July 2018 by the Right Honourable Chief Minister of Penang YAB Tuan Chow Kon Yeow
The Right Honourable Chief Minister of Penang - YAB Tuan Chow Kon Yeow, Pengarah Jabatan Pelajaran Pulau Pinang - Tuan Mohd. Jamil bin Mohammed, ADUN of Sg Pinang - YB Lim Siew Khim, ADUN of Kebun Bunga - YB Jason Ong Khan Lee, Co-chairman of the WMS Penang[I] Building Committee - Dato Jerry Chan Fook Sing - Chairman of the WMS Board of Management - Dato Chin Lean Keat, esteemed educators, distinguished guests, teachers, parents and students, church pastors, leaders and members, ladies and gentlemen - good morning to everyone and thank you for taking time to be present here today!
We thank Almighty God for the Official Opening of the WMS Penang International this morning that is officiated by The Right Honourable Chief Minister of Penang - YAB Tuan Chow Kon Yeow.
The Council of Education of the Methodist Church in Malaysia express our sincere thanks to The Right Honourable Chief Minister for according us the honour of his presence. We trace our connection of a shared vision with the Penang State Government - of offering affordable quality education to make a telling difference in young lives and in building this nation - back to 2012.
The then Chief Minister of Penang, YAB Tuan Lim Guan Eng facilitated the purchase of this plot of land for the WMS P[I] to be built. Our current Chief Minister was then a member of the Penang State Executive Council as the Chairman for Local Government, Traffic Management and Flood Mitigation Committee. The Penang state Government had continued to show her support - rendering administrative support in the course of the building process.
The constant and consistent support of YAB Tuan Chow Kon Yeow is most appreciated as I can still recollect that he was also at the Dedication of the Methodist Girls' School [MGS] Penang New School Block on the evening of 29 March 2014.
Speaking of that sister Penang Methodist mission school - I am reminded of the humbling, challenging and inspiring speech of Mr A Halliday, Chief Education Officer, Penang, when officially opening the MGS Penang Music, Art and Domestic Science Block during the 70th Anniversary Celebration of that school on 10 February 1962. Mr Halliday had said: "The efforts of the Methodist Mission Schools in giving proper education to the youth in this country are most laudable and the countless number of people who have passed through the schools have every reason to be grateful."
He was further quoted the following day by the Straits Times [in an article titled - "Mission schools in Malaya need have no fear about their future"] as saying -
"They are the strongest of our educational institutions and there is no reason for a strong man to be afraid…It was strange that recently that concern had been expressed over their future. They need have no fear that they would be "compelled to lay down the burden they have carried for so long and so successfully."
I must hasten to add that the Methodist Church in Malaysia will want to continue our legacy of mission school education and not to "lay down the burden they have carried for so long and [to a degree] so successfully" but, we can only do so with the faithful sustaining providence of Almighty God, the partnership and collaboration of the federal and the state Governments, the support of parents, the contributions and gifts of generous donors [some of whom are present today], the goodwill of the public at large, the sacrificial input given by the unnamed many - substantially from the Methodist Church, the wider Christian community and the diligent, responsible and earnest work of the teaching and administrative staff.
So thank you all for your presence, help and continual support as we together, in the words of the Good Book of the Christian faith - "devise and stand by noble plans and deeds" [Isaiah 32:8].
May Almighty God continue to bless our new Malaysia, the ministry and labour of WMS Penang International and each one of us.
Bishop Dr Ong Hwai Teik Chairman
Council of Education
The Methodist Church in Malaysia
Excerpt of Bishop Ong's Speech on 20 June 2018 -
COMPLETION OF CONSTUCTION CEREMONY of
Wesley Methodist School Bandar Sri Coalfields, Sungai Buloh, Selangor
Tan Sri Lee Oi Hian - CEO of KLK Bhd, Executive Director of KLK Bhd, Mr. Lee Jia Zhang, Managing Director of KLK Land Sdn Bhd (the property arm of KLK), Dato' David Tan Thean Thye, Dato Chin Lean Keat - Chairman of WMS Management Board of the COE, esteemed members of the Kuala Lumpur Kepong management team and the Council of Education of the MCM, distinguished guests, Ladies and gentlemen - a very good morning to everyone.
We thank Almighty God for this joyous and memorable milestone with this Completion of Construction Ceremony of WMS Bandar Sri Coalfields. Construction began after Kuala Lumpur Kepong and Council of Education of the Methodist Church in Malaysia signed the MOU on 25 Aug 2016 at the KLK Damansara Perdana Office.
The occasion today is made even more significant against the backdrop of the much celebrated blessing of a "new Malaysia" post the 9 May 2018 GE14. It would seem that Almighty God is commissioning us together, using the words of the Old Testament prophet inNIV Isaiah 60:1 "Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD rises upon you. 2 See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the LORD rises upon you and his glory appears over you. 3 Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn.
I am reminded of another historic ground - breaking moment when the sovereign enabling hand of the Almighty, is responded to by the heart and hands of humankind.
When the Apollo 11 landed on the moon on 20 July 1969, the first man out for the moon walk was Neil Armstrong; he was followed by Buzz Aldrin. Buzz Aldrin had been reported to have written the following that "captured the moment" for him -
"Nevertheless, in an effort to remain calm and collected, I decided that this would be an excellent time for a ceremony I had planned as an expression of gratitude and hope. Weeks before, as the Apollo mission drew near, I had originally asked Dean Woodruff, pastor at Webster Presbyterian Church, where my family and I attended services when I was home in Houston, to help me come up with something I could do on the moon, some appropriate symbolic act regarding the universality of seeking. I had thought in terms of doing something overtly patriotic, but everything we came up with sounded trite and jingoistic. I settled on a well-known expression of spirituality: celebrating the first Christian Communion on the moon, much as Christopher Columbus and other explorers had done when they first landed in their "new world."
I wanted to do something positive for the world, so the spiritual aspect appealed greatly to me... So, during those first hours on the moon, before the planned eating and rest periods, I reached into my personal preference kit and pulled out the communion elements along with a three-by-five card on which I had written the words of Jesus: "I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever remains in me, and I in him, will bear much fruit; for you can do nothing without me." [John 15:5] I poured a thimbleful of wine from a sealed plastic container into a small chalice, and waited for the wine to settle down as it swirled in the one-sixth Earth gravity of the moon. My comments to the world were inclusive: "I would like to request a few moments of silence … and to invite each person listening in, wherever and whomever they may be, to pause for a moment and contemplate the events of the past few hours, and to give thanks in his or her own way." I silently read the Bible passage as I partook of the wafer and the wine, and offered a private prayer for the task at hand and the opportunity I had been given... [But] at the time I could think of no better way to acknowledge the enormity of the Apollo 11 experience than by giving thanks to God. It was my hope that people would keep the whole event in their minds and see, beyond minor details and technical achievements, a deeper meaning - a challenge and the human need to explore whatever are above us, below us, or out there."
May Almighty God, the Sovereign Maker of heaven and earth, continue to help us as we gather today to celebrate the technical and building excellence achieved at this Service that celebrates the Completion of Construction of WMS Bandar Seri Coalfields which will be operational come January 2019.
But let us also "see beyond technical details and achievements to a deeper meaning" In this challenge we, KLK Land and the Methodist Church in Malaysia undertake to serve our community in touching and transforming young lives in this generation and the next, by providing education with mission, excellence and compassion through the WMS Bandar Seri Coalfields.
In the perceptive words of the great Nelson Mandela who throws light on this challenge from another perspective: "Destroying any nation does not require the use of atomic bombs or the use of long range missiles. It only requires lowering the quality of education and allowing cheating in the examinations of student." He had also said: "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world".
We, in the Methodist Church in Malaysia, thank Almighty God for this opportunity to partner with a renowned corporation like KLK Bhd, a business organisation of international repute that has operated for over 100 years, to build and to serve our nation through this school, especially in this opportune fresh season of a "new Malaysia" that God has so graciously granted to us.
As we together respond to - NIV Isaiah 60:1 "Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD rises upon you" - may the Almighty and Sovereign God bless and prosper the continuing journey of WMS Bandar Seri Coalfields, as well as the total venture of KLK Land project of developing this area of Bandar Seri Coalfields.
Bishop Dr Ong Hwai Teik Chairman
Council of Education
The Methodist Church in Malaysia
An Episcopal Pastoral Letter - The General Election 14
To All in the Methodist Family in Malaysia
Once again it is time for all Malaysian citizens to go to the polls come 9 May 2018. The people of God in this country have been covering our beloved land with unceasing prayer and seeking that this most important, strategic and historic moment - will be a blessing to our beloved nation.
We call to mind some important truths from the Word of God, as to God’s sovereignty, and the type of governance leadership that will shape well our national culture and form our shared future:
Romans 11:36 For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To him be glory for ever. Amen.
Daniel 2:21 He controls the course of world events; he removes kings and sets up other kings….
Romans 13:4 The authorities are God's servants, sent for your good….
Proverbs 14:34 Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people.
On a personal level….each of us
Must be determined and undeterred by timing, inconvenient circumstances, attempts at foul play, unethical and repugnant corruptible practices – and make sure that we cast our individual vote;
Seek God and be discerning in casting your vote: looking for the candidate that is wise, just, honest, compassionate and righteous - that would sincerely serve the people and committedly deepen their welfare, uphold the rule of law, honour the Federal Constitution and courageously act to unite the people of Malaysia.
Help to enable others to cast their votes such as sharing transport, directions, ascertaining polling information/ centers etc;
Sign up/ register as polling and counting agents as we contribute to a “clean and fair election” and bless this beloved nation of ours.
On a community level… each church to
Pray, remind and announce
Announce/remind and offer a specific prayer and the reminder to vote - at our Sunday Services [15, 22 & 29 April and 6 May], small group gatherings and other regular meetings of the church.
Organise prayer and fasting - for individuals and the congregation; organise/join/ invite other churches and congregations in your area for a common time of prayer for GE14.
Intercessions: let us all pray for peace, fairness and orderliness for the run-up to the elections; integrity, transparency and propriety of the electoral/polling process by all involved governmental agencies and political parties; and for God’s sovereign providential outcome, for national harmony, unity and an effective Government thereafter.
Make practical arrangements
Arrange carpooling, transport for those isolated, infirmed and elderly; making available resources to help those in need so as to be able to fulfil their responsibility of casting their votes.
Where needed, readily provide sufficient/ additional unrecorded leave for the church pastor[s], ministry and administrative staff so that they can go to the polls [even though 9 May 2018 is a public holiday].
Let us take to heart the words of wisdom from two God-fearing men with proven fruitful lives.
Billy Graham said:
“In a world that might say one vote doesn't matter..., it does matter because each person is of infinite worth and value to God...Your vote is a declaration of importance as a person and a citizen”.
Abraham Lincoln declared:
“My concern is not whether God is on our side; my greatest concern is to be on God's side, for God is always right.”
Let us not take our eyes off the Highest Authority, Almighty God, as we pray for the high cause of the election of those who will guide the future of this beloved nation of ours – at federal and state levels. Let the Methodist
Churches unite with other churches and congregations locally to pray fervently and act conscientiously – during this
“Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of
the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, 21 equip you with everything good that you may do his
will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever
and ever. Amen”. - Hebrews 13:20
May Almighty God bless Malaysia.
Bishop Ong Hwai Teik
The Methodist Church in Malaysia
11 April 2018
Please take note of the
Aug 2010 binding Decision of General Conference Executive Council of The Methodist Church in Malaysia -
"That the GCEC resolves that no Methodist church should apply for or receive government grants, irrespective of the party in power, in the period between the nomination date of any election to the polling date of the same. Given the present socio-political context, this will send a clear signal to everyone that the church is non-partisan. More importantly, it will make clear that the Methodist Church does not condone actions that are or can be perceived as being related to money politics."
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