Last Sunday, 22 April 2018, our Parish had invited Dato Ambiga Sreenevasan, a prominent Malaysian lawyer and human rights advocate for a Pre-General Election 14 dialogue session. I have read and heard about her and also seen her at the BERSIH Rally from a distance. This was the first time I had an opportunity to meet her in person. She looks very pleasant. I admire her courageous spirit, and being a renowned speaker, I was a nervous cat when she walked into my office, but she was polite in all respects.
Approximately 450 people attended the talk. She spoke generally on the preparation for the upcoming General Election, transparency in the election process and encouraged every registered voter to turn up for voting on Election Day. We need to be united as a nation to bring about change for the betterment of the people in our country. I was quite happy with our parishioners during the Questions and Answer session, where they put forward relevant questions.
Dato Ambiga strongly emphasized that every single vote counts. In the last election an estimated 80% of the eligible voters turned up to vote. In this upcoming election everyone is hoping to reach 90% voter turnout on Election Day. All voters must take care not to spoil their votes because every vote counts. If 90% of the voters turn up to vote on 9 May 2018, then there is a great possibility of forming a new and decent government. Make the right choice.
Our country is a democratic nation. Democracy is a system that gives its citizens the right to choose their leaders and equal opportunity to be a part of the decision-making process for the betterment and interest of the people without any discrimination. Democratic policy makes a successful, peaceful and just government. Unfortunately, our democracy has been corrupted and it needs healing. Our rakyat needs a policy that shows their power of freedom. Everyone wants the rakyat to win. We need leaders who can render service for our rakyat and country by genuinely upholding the Federal Constitution and bring a new spirit in the rakyat in every way possible.
The leaders in Prophet Micah’s day did not lead the people towards God, but away from Him. What does God require of our leaders? God wants our new leaders with integrity who realise that they have commitments and responsibilities to their fellow citizens as prophet Micah says, “Act justly, love tenderly, and walk humbly with your God,” (Micah 6:8). Jesus always did what was right. Our new leaders are called to be just and to do what is right from the heart.
The Catholic Bishops Conference invites us to observe a Day of Prayer and Fasting for General Election 14. In our parish we shall observe a 24-hour Day of Prayer starting from Friday, 4 May to Saturday, 5 May 2018. We invite all the 34 BECS and various ministries in our parish to take part in this 24-hour of Day of Prayer and Fasting to promote a clean, free and neutral elections and for committed leaders in our nation. The schedules and programmes for the 24-hour Prayer session will be sent by end of April to the respective leaders via emails and whatssap. I need the cooperation from all of you to participate in the call to prayer.
Let’s pray for all candidates who will be standing for this coming election that they may have courage to walk in the path of peace in this time of discernment, election, and transition. May everyone continue to promote liberty and freedom, justice and peace for all.
Fr. George Packiasamy