|From NECF Research/Religious Liberty
Continue to Pray for the Nation #3
Malaysian citizens watch aghast at the recent indiscriminate ISA arrests, a deplorable act which has greatly undermined the Rule of Law and debilitated the rakyat’s fundamental liberties.
Many have condemned the unwarranted arrests of blogger Raja Petra Kamaruddin, Seputeh MP YB Teresa Kok and Sin Chew reporter Tan Hoon Cheng (who has been released).
The reasons tossed by the authorities for their arrests were unconvincing to the point of ridiculing the intelligence of Malaysian citizens. Kok’s detention was simply based on mere allegations by former Selangor Menteri Besar Khir Toyo that she had demanded the volume of the azans prayers be lowered. Raja Petra, a devout Muslim in his own right, was apprehended for allegedly insulting Islam in his blog. Tan was taken into custody for her own protection, according to the Home Minister who said her life was threatened.
Tan was the reporter who wrote about the racist remarks made by UMNO division chief Ahmad Ismail that the Chinese in Malaysia were merely squatters in the country. The Home Minister claimed the three ISA detentions were necessary to avoid racial conflicts. Ironically, the man who sparked off the racial tension with his reckless remark went scot-free.
Malaysians are left to wonder if such actions are politically motivated due to the ruling party’s desperation to cling on to power, which seems to be eroding with each passing day. We, the citizens who have long desired justice and righteousness, earnestly hope and pray that the Government of today does not resort to unjust and oppressive means for the sake of power, turning laws into instrument of human oppression and thus disregarding the fundamental rights of its citizens.
ISA has its origin in the Emergency Regulations Ordinance 1948 created by the British to combat the communists. In 1960, Malaysia passed the legislation under Article 149 of the Constitution. It permits detention without charge or trial of any person at the discretion of the Home Minister. There have been calls to either abolish or revise the Act because of its inhumane elements.
1. For good governance, justice and righteousness
Ø discard oppressive laws such as the ISA;
Ø repent of all its arrogant wrongdoings; and
Ø have due regard for humanity and the fundamental rights of its citizens.
3. Sensible ministers with sober judgment to continue to make a difference in the system:
Ø May the God of grace restore, confirm, strengthen and establish those who desire good and not evil for the country.
4. All citizens to continue to:
Ø advocate justice; and
Ø stand for freedom against tyranny and any dehumanising forces of the day.
5. Against the spirit behind fanaticism:
Ø those with meaningless lives (and becoming obsessed with external performance) to find meaning and purpose of life in Christ; and
Ø those with distorted views to be enlightened to see the whole reality
6. The Church:
Ø manifold wisdom of God be made known through the Church;
Ø to live out her calling to “take no part in unfruitful works of darkness but instead expose them” (Eph 5:11);
Ø to be rid of fear; and
Ø Christian ministers and MPs to stand firm (Isa 40:10–20).