Wednesday, May 19, 2010

In the recent Sibu by-election, it was reported that four Methodist churches in the final hours of the by-election campaign received a RM1.75million grant from the Federal government. The four lucky churches chosen to receive the grant were En Tao Methodist Church (RM500,000), Tien Tao Methodist Church (RM500,000), Sing Ang Tong Methodist Church (RM400,000) and Hwai Tong Methodist Church (RM350,000). The grant was for upgrading and extension of the church buildings.

Almost all churches in Malaysia are self funding and not surprisingly virtually all are cash strapped. Some churches have to collect donations from its followers and well-wishers for years before the church can even put up a building or even an extension. Thus, had the Methodist churches in Sibu in ordinary circumstances received this Federal grant for upgrading and renovation work, that grant must be received with gratitude and thanks. To get such a grant out of blue, has to be heaven sent and the Federal government must be praised for the noble act and magnanimity.

But, in Sibu, the Federal grant was given in the final hours of the by-election campaign and selectively only to Methodist churches in a predominantly Methodist town and in a town where a by-election was to take place. Surely, this sudden magnanimity must have been made with a purpose and that is to win over the hearts of the Christian voters. What other way is there to construe that grant. To the Federal government it may be a special grant but to many it is nothing but an instant gratification or even worst an executive bribery. Still I do not blame the Federal government for the grant, after all the end justifies the means and during by-elections it is common for the voters to be overwhelmed by sudden and excess generosity.

I believe that the Methodist churches ought to have realized the actual purpose for this sudden generosity. The Methodist churches ought to have politely rejected the grant. The Church preaches to its followers to uphold high moral values and standards in all things. The Church takes the moral high ground and extols the followers to walk in Christ ways. Therefore, the Church too must be subjected to the same high standard.

Unfortunately, the recipient churches, who preach about maintaining and preserving the high moral and ethical standards, it would seem the churches capitulated and momentarily cast aside its principles. It is said money talks and everyone and everything has a price. Well, in the case of the Methodist churches it only took RM1.75 million.

I believe that the most decent thing for the Methodist churches which received this sudden grant to do is to return the money back to the donor. Show them what is called from a Christian and what Christian living is. Painful it may be to return the money, but have faith and walk the faith. God will provide. If the good Lord can provide the little birds with its daily feed, why would the Lord not help the church in its intentions? The RM1.75 million grant surely was not God send or was the answers to the churches prayer.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


Barisan Nasional (BN) must be in a state of shock after last week end’s loss in the Sibu by-election. Sibu is after all BN’s stronghold in a state which BN refers to as BN’s safe deposit. Well, it looks like it is no more.

The Sibu electorate has sent one clear message. The days of offering a cornucopia of goodies are over. In Sibu, BN thought that the usual executive bribery will sway the voters to vote BN. After all, instant gratification succeeded in the recent Hulu Selangor by-election and also previously during the Ijok by-election. (By the way whatever happened to Cikgu Partiban ?)

The Sibuans were seduced with RM18 million grant to 65 Chinese schools – RM10 million to Chinese Primary Schools, RM5 million to Chinese Independent schools and RM3 Million to Christian missionary schools. Divide RM18 million with 65 schools, that’s peppercorns.

Add to this, were the sudden magnanimous gesture of giving RM1.7 million to Methodist Churches namely Eng Tao Methodist Church RM500,000, Tien Tao Methodist Church RM500,000, Sing Ang Tong Methodist Church RM450,000 and Hwai Ang Tong Methodist Church RM350,000. This kind gesture is bewildering since churches are usually self funding.
Suddenly out of the blue, the Methodist churches in a town where a by-election takes place gets money. Surely this act was designed to appease the Christians and the Churches. Christians in Sibu would have appreciated had the government resolved the bigger issues, namely the Allah issue and the ban and confiscation of Bahasa Malaysia Bibles. For Christian these issues remains contentious, unresolved and the government unrelenting in their stand.

Then there is that now most famous “deal” by the PM to the voters when it is alleged that the PM openly told the voters that “ If Robert Lau becomes MP on Sunday, on Monday, I will ask the cheque to be prepared. Do we have a deal ? We do ! You want RM5 Million. I want Robert Lau to win”. Imagine how the Election Commission would have reacted if Lim Guan Eng were to utter such words.

Perhaps the PM forgot that RM5 million offered for Rejang Park flood mitigation, was an insult to the long suffering Rejang Park and the Sibu voters who in the past had voted BN. BN may have thought that this “deal or no deal” will work in Sibu. Afterall, in Hulu Selangor similar method when the PM promised RM3 Million to SRJK (C) if BN’s P.Kamalanathan won. Well, P. Kamalanathan won and the PM immediately moved to fulfill the promises. The Sibu voters or rather the voters in Rejang Park just did the opposite so the chagrin of the PM when the day after the election the PM is reported to have said that that deal may have to be considered though the Deputy Prime Minister went on damage control to assure that whatever was promised will be fulfilled.

Unfortunately, these election goodies was not what the voters and people of Sibu wanted. The wanted to know why despite decades of supporting and voting for BN, Sibu still had to suffer from terrible flooding, land issues remain contentious and are yet to be settled, basic infrastructure are lacking, those in the interior and a very large percentage of the Iban community despite being BN’s staunchest supporters still wallow in poverty and there is an economic malaise permeating Sibu . The truth is that Sibu had been long ignored until the by election awakening. The say reap what you sow. Well BN had sowed nothing and thus there was nothing to be reaped. In the aftermath of the by-election, SUPP said that they do not know what went wrong. Strange fellows these SUPP chaps. Imagine, SUPP’s George Chan is Sarawak Deputy Chief Minister and yet SUPP do not know was happening in their own backyard!

The Sibu by election must become an eye opener and a lesson for BN that the days of descending on by election week and promising election goodies are over. Voters now days will not easily be swayed by instant gratification and executive bribery.

Monday, May 17, 2010


(gambar dari

Gambar penyokong Pakatan Rakyat/DAP di pilihanraya kecil Sibu.

The Election Commission and the police must investigate if there were attempts to buy votes during the Sibu by election.

On polling day, Bakri MP Er Teck Hwa claimed that “one of the local resident even showed us a RM70 received from BN half an hour ago and gave us his IC number as proof ”