After the General Election 14 (GE14), I realised that I am so engrossed and caught up in the current political situation of our beloved country. A lot of exciting changes are taking place, now that Tun Dr Mahathir Mohammad has been sworn in as the 7th Prime Minister of Malaysia by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Sultan Muhammad V, at Istana Negara on Thursday, 10 May 2018. Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim has been released from prison, after Sultan Muhammad granted him a full pardon last Wednesday, 16 May 2018.
Barisan Nasional (BN) and its coalition parties, who were ruling our country for over sixty years, has lost its credibility. These past 10 years, I was very frustrated and saddened with the power and money politics, and the amount of corruption and scandals, which has caused anger amongst the Rakyat. Thankfully, the voice of the people has been heard, and justice has prevailed at the GE14.
During the GE14 talks, I learnt about a system of government known as “Kleptocracy” which was not something I was familiar with before. ‘Klepto’ meaning thief and ‘cracy’ meaning rule, literally translates to ‘ruled by thieves’. It is generally associated with dictatorships, military regimes, autocracy and nepotism. Malaysia is a democratic nation, which has been corrupted and exploited with kleptocracy these past years. We pray and hope that democracy will be fully practiced, and human rights and freedom will be given to all Malaysians, regardless of race, religion and gender.
We have spent so much time in prayer and have put a lot of effort in making a change for a clean government, and we thank God that the new government is in place now. As Christians, we must continue to pray for our nation to grow in justice and peace, and in cheerfulness and harmony. As citizens, we must commit ourselves to making our nation stronger economically, politically and socially as well as help to build sustainable values in our society. I am anticipating amazing reformation to take place in the months to come, and I look forward to seeing how our new leaders will take our nation towards Vision 2020.
In our Parish of St Joseph, we too have set our three-year vision towards the year 2020. We have committed ourselves to New Evangelisation, and we are focusing on our pastoral priorities on Youth & Family (2018), Ecumenical & Inter-religious Dialogue (2019) and Embracing The 5Ls – Lost, Last, Least, Little and Lonely (2020). I have a strong feeling that our parish community will be on the move towards this vision and mission with great enthusiasm. We have just recently celebrated the 110th Anniversary of our parish establishment, during the Feast of St Joseph, the Worker. In conjunction with that, we will be organising two more major events in August/September and November 2018, respectively.
On 26 May 2018, our Parish Family Life Ministry will be organising a formation entitled ‘5 Languages of Love’ for married couples. Unfortunately, the response has been poor so far, but I hope this will change. I strongly encourage all married couples in our parish to register for this formation, which will help strengthen your family life. Please don’t miss this opportunity.
On the first day of the holy month of Ramadhan, I was casually having a conversation with Mrs Eleanor Benard, Chairperson of our Parish Ecumenical and Inter-religious Dialogue (EIRD) and thought of an idea to perhaps organise a buka puasa with our Muslim friends. I know that a few of you have participated as Polling and Counting Agents (PACA) in GE14, and perhaps you have made some new Muslim friends. Why not invite them to share a meal with us? We could also invite our EduCare students and their families to join the buka puasa, at our Church. Details of this event (should it materialise) will be made known in due time. Alternatively, we can always have a gathering during the month of Shawal, to build solidarity and foster a sense of community.
As our Muslim brothers and sisters observe their fast and abstinence, we pray that their lives will be fully nourished with spiritual blessings and closeness to Almighty ALLAH. We wish them a Blessed Ramadhan.
Fr. George Packiasamy