Friday, December 30, 2011

2012 - Year of Prayer for Malaysia

has been designated as a
24-7 Year of Prayer for Malaysia
jointly organised by the following Christian Organizations in Malaysia.

Let us all make 2012 a year of personal prayer for our Nation. Together with Christians from across the nation, our collective prayers will make a difference not only for the Nation but also make a significant difference in our own personal walk with God.

Please try to obtain a copy of the Prayer Booklet to guide you as we journey together with others in this spiritual prayer walk. You may contact the organizers to find out how to get a copy for yourself.

To view their website click :

To join their Facebook Group click : 24-7 Prayer Malaysia

Prayer Booklet cover

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Click on the links below for the individual month's Prayer Agenda

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Pray For Our Christian Leaders

This is an article taken from the Malaysian Insider Online news. 
After reading this article, let us stop and spend a minute to pray for Rev. Eu Hong Seng that our almighty God will continue to guide him, use him and protect him as he boldly stand firm for what is right in the sight of God.
Click on the Title for the original source.

By Melissa Chi
December 28, 2011

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 28 — Senior Christian leader Reverend Dr Eu Hong Seng said today his controversial Christmas Eve remarks about the country’s constitutional protection for Bumiputeras was something that “needed somebody to say it.”
He told The Malaysian Insider today that he had nothing to fear despite the fierce reaction from various Malay groups and denials by the government that Christians or any minority group had been sidelined.

When asked if he thought his speech during a Christmas Eve gathering last week was too provocative, Eu said in a matter-of-fact manner that “it is what it is”, and that “it needed somebody to say it.”

“Enough is said, there is nothing to add.

“There are enough MPs who are well-versed in this issue to carry on with the debate,” he told The Malaysian Insider today.

He described Perkasa’s call for him to be investigated for sedition an example of fear-mongering, adding that no one needs to be “fearful” in this country despite the vehemence from the Malay rights group

“This is not political; I am talking about the social wellbeing of everybody. It is biblical to speak up against any social imbalances,” he said.

The National Evangelical Christian Fellowship (NECF) chairman had said on Christmas Eve that the Federal Constitution’s Article 153 was akin to “bullying” if it only protected the rights of one group.

Article 153 states that it is the Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s responsibility “to safeguard the special position of the Malays and natives of any of the States of Sabah and Sarawak and the legitimate interests of other communities in accordance with the provisions of this Article”.

In his speech, Eu had stressed that he did not have problems with rights of the Malays and the Sultans but “what irks many of us are the ‘shifting rights’” of the majority.

His remarks prompted demands from Perkasa chief Datuk Ibrahim Ali yesterday for Eu to be probed by the police.

Ibrahim said the authorities should charge those who questioned Article 153 with sedition to safeguard national security.

The Pasir Mas MP said disputing the provision would only lead to civil strife, as it was part and parcel of what he described as an established “social contract” that could not be amended without consent from the Malay Rulers.

Amid the growing debate, opposition leaders have claimed that the provision had been manipulated by ruling Malay party Umno and was now being used as “a weapon of aggression”.

Constitutional expert Prof Abdul Aziz Bari had said that Article 153 meant the King must safeguard Bumiputera privileges without impinging on the legitimate interests of other communities.

Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyddin Yassin previously denied that the provision had been used to bully any community.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas Presents of a Different Kind

This article is taken from GoodTimes online news portal. In this article we read about how different people in Malaysia are changing the world around them with a different kind of giving presents this Christmas. May we all learn from them and possibly rethink about giving differently next Christmas.   Click on the Title below for link to the original source.

Christmas giving that aids communities

By Yam Phui Yee And Susanna Khoo   

Instead of the usual giving of Christmastime presents, several givers share of their charitable aid this Season to help build community lives.

Amidst the numerous and cheerful green, red and white Christmas decor, a large earthen pot on a pedestal greets guests at the home of Devindran Ramanathan and Angeline Jennifer Percival.

Most guests would initially dismiss it as just another decorative piece until you notice the message placed on it. Instead of giving gifts, the Ramanathans welcome guests to donate to their favourite charities, the Malaysian Nature Society (MNS), as well as AnimalCare -- an NGO which promotes care giving to street animals.

Percival explains that they place the pot -- which she calls her “charity pot” – there, because they prefer guests to donate money to charities they support, rather than give the couple gifts.
It is a change from the usual giving of presents, but is more meaningful and cuts down unwanted gifts.
Instead of the usual giving of Christmastime presents, several givers share of their charitable aid this Season to help build community lives.

Amidst the numerous and cheerful green, red and white Christmas decor, a large earthen pot on a pedestal greets guests at the home of Devindran Ramanathan and Angeline Jennifer Percival.

Most guests would initially dismiss it as just another decorative piece until you notice the message placed on it. Instead of giving gifts, the Ramanathans welcome guests to donate to their favourite charities, the Malaysian Nature Society (MNS), as well as AnimalCare -- an NGO which promotes care giving to street animals.

Percival explains that they place the pot -- which she calls her “charity pot” – there, because they prefer guests to donate money to charities they support, rather than give the couple gifts.

It is a change from the usual giving of presents, but is more meaningful and cuts down unwanted gifts.
Lillian Kim Jesudasan and her family offer comfort, food and hospitality to tertiary students who have no one to celebrate Christmas with. The recipe consultant for television programmes throws a Christmas dinner at their lovely home almost without fail every year, to share their Christmas warmth with others.
She had once spent a lonely Christmas with fast food. Her parents were not Christians and therefore, did not celebrate Christmas.

“Nobody knew I couldn’t go home for Christmas, not even my church members,” Lillian remarked.

Knowing what it feels like, she opens her home to students for Christmas dinner, where she treats them to delicious food and a fun-filled time with her family. For some, it would be the first time they celebrate Christmas in a family setting.

This Christmas, Lillian also invites neighbours over for dinner, to foster stronger ties within her community.

She hopes that parents will use the opportunity to educate their children that Christmas is about giving rather than expecting to receive.
“I remember one year, my daughter planted barley greens. When they sprouted after 10 days, she gave them to her friends in pots, to make drinks. Another year, we made chocolate chip cookies to give out.

“It’s not so much the value of the things (we give), but the heart of giving,” Lillian says.

Lillian is a woman with a big heart, whose giving goes beyond Christmas time.

Apart from running a successful catering business under the name A Family Affair, the mother of four also welcomes single mothers and young people to learn how to cook, bake, sew and serve in catering functions.

Dozens of families have benefited from this income-generating trade. Some of the youths later thanked Lillian for teaching them the people skills, work ethics and professionalism that have come in handy when they go out to work.
Giving, however, is not limited to things that come in wrappers and ribbons.
Financial advisory consultant Eugene Yang does not give presents to his friends. Instead, he buys Christmas gifts for poor communities through humanitarian aid NGO, World Vision Malaysia’s Gifts of Hope (GOH) programme (
Buyers can choose what gifts to buy, like cows and goats for the poor in Thailand, sewing machines for Indonesia, hostels for Orang Asli students in Malaysia, safer baby deliveries and maternal care in Congo, or water and sanitation system in Cambodia, among others. The value of these gifts start from RM30 onwards and givers can also choose to share out the cost for more expensive items.
Under the programme, when payment is made for a gift, someone in a poor community somewhere in the world will be beneficiary of that gift.

“Last year, I bought some chicks and chickens, seedlings, farmer’s tools, bicycles, medicine and hygiene kit. As for the first four items, it’s a chance for me to contribute to the economic uplifting and sustenance of these communities.

“The chickens are for laying eggs, the seedlings (are) for crops and income (generation), and the bicycles (are) for villagers to go to work,” says Yang, who has been contributing through GOH for about six years now.

“According to World Vision’s statistics, 26,500 children die from preventable causes every day, such as unclean water, lack of safe medication and proper vaccination,” Yang adds. The medicine and hygiene kits help people in under-developed areas to stay healthy for work, so they could support their families.

Yang is also volunteering with World Vision Malaysiato promote the GOH programme in shopping centres this Christmas.

“Christmas is about the story of Jesus, even though he was not born on December 25. I feel it’s a time for remembrance and for sharing with others of the love of Jesus for mankind, and to give them hope. Jesus also declared in Luke 4:18 that he came to preach the good news to the poor.

“It (Christmastime) gives me an opportunity to remind other Christians that we should help the poor,” he adds.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Friday, December 2, 2011

South Korean pastor tends an unwanted flock

This is a moving article about an ordinary pastor doing extra ordinary things in the online Los Angeles Times. We hope that this article will move us all to allow God to turn our ashes to beauty. Whatever “ash” experience that we are placed in, let us learn to let God into that experience with us and then allow Him to use us to be a blessing to others. 
From this testimony, we can see that God uses ordinary people in need to be His hand extended to others in need and we learn that to be a blessing is not always about giving money. It is about giving our lives.

South Korean pastor tends an unwanted flock

In a country that prizes physical perfection, Pastor Lee Jong-rak, his eyes opened after caring for his own disabled son, has been taking in unwanted infants, who if not for his drop box would be left in the street.
By John M. Glionna, Los Angeles Times

June 19, 2011, 7:55 p.m.

Reporting from Seoul— The drop box is attached to the side of a home in a ragged working-class neighborhood. It is lined with a soft pink and blue blanket, and has a bell that rings when the little door is opened.
Because this depository isn't for books, it's for babies — and not just any infants; these children are the unwanted ones, a burden many parents find too terrible to bear.
One is deaf, blind and paralyzed; another has a tiny misshapen head. There's a baby with Down syndrome, another with cerebral palsy, still another who is quadriplegic, with permanent brain damage.
But to Pastor Lee Jong-rak, they are all perfect. And they have found a home here at the ad hoc orphanage he runs with his wife and small staff. It is the only private center for disabled children in South Korea.
"This is a facility for the protection of life," reads a hand-scrawled sign outside the drop box. "If you can't take care of your disabled babies, don't throw them away or leave them on the street. Bring them here."
Since 1998, Lee, now 57, has taken in nearly three dozen children — raised them, loved them, sent them to school. He has changed their diapers, tended to their cries in the middle of the night. Today, he has 21 wards: the youngest a 2-month-old, the oldest 18.
His motivation is painfully personal. Twenty-five years ago, Lee's wife, Chun-ja, gave birth to a baby so disfigured Lee kept the boy from her for a month until he could figure out a way to tell her the unthinkable, explaining only that the child had a serious illness and was rushed to another hospital.
The baby was born with cerebral palsy. A mammoth cyst on his head choked off the blood flow, slowly rendering him brain-damaged. Doctors gave him months to live.
Today he lies on a bed in Lee's home, his legs splayed at impossible angles, his feet turned back inward. Eyeing the room impassively, he occasionally lets out a snort or sigh, as his parents regularly vacuum his saliva through a tracheal hole in his throat. They call him Eun-man, which means full of God's grace.
He plays the role of emotional touchstone for an orphanage in peril: Health officials have ordered Lee to close his drop box, saying it encourages parents to abandon their babies.
Authorities say Lee has no formal training and not enough space for his wards, only two of whom are not handicapped; they were left by single mothers. Lee has no license, but for years he had operated underneath the radar. Now he worries he will lose the government funds he receives as the children's legal guardian; the money keeps him in operation, along with donations from local firms and private benefactors.
Orphanage supporters say authorities are missing the big picture. Though there are other institutional facilities nationwide for disabled children, they say, no salaried caregiver could match Lee's compassion and paternal touch.
"Rather than look at what he can bring, they focus on what he doesn't have," said Peter A. Dietrich, an orphanage volunteer. "The enormity of his mission hits you between the eyes. I don't know anyone who goes there for the first time and doesn't tear up."
Eun-man's birth caused a religious man to question his faith.
"I asked God, 'Why would you give me a handicapped child?' I wasn't grateful for this baby," Lee recalled.
He soon came to regret those words. Looking down at his son, helpless and beyond hope, he says he witnessed the preciousness of life. He and his wife decided to work desperately to keep the boy alive.
In the mid-1980s, Lee said, the disabled in South Korea were often viewed as embarrassing curiosities — more creature than child. Even today, he said, babies with physical deformities are seen as a national shame in a culture that prizes physical perfection, where cosmetic surgeries have become as common as haircuts.
Given his limited brain function, Eun-man needed constant care. He spent his first 14 years at a hospital. To help pay for his care, Lee sold his family food market, borrowed money and took up odd jobs to bring in more cash.

Click here for link to the original source.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Severe Floods in Cambodia

Special Addition @ 30 October 2011.

This letter was forwarded to us by a regular reader. As this plight is also appealing for donation to help flood victims in Cambodia, we highlight Asia Outreach's appeal here. Please extend help if you are able to.

Please note that this letter was not sent directly to Berita Calvary and as such we have no direct connection with Asian Outreach. If you need further clarification or if you want to view the supporting documents mentioned in this letter, please contact Asian Outreach directly.

Asian Outreach (M) Bhd
No 81, Jalan SS 2/75,
47300 Petaling Jaya

Tel : +603 7876 6789

Fax : +603 7876 6221

Email :

Can you help?

This is a Forwarded email to us, requesting that we send to all who are willing to extend financial help. As we are now in the time of the year where we are preparing to celebrate the Season of Giving in December, we highlight here a plight that is worth our help. 

Many today, especially in Malaysia, have employed domestic helpers from Cambodia. This is a good way to extend our Christian charity to the people from whom God has placed in our homes to help us with our domestic chores. Let us show our love and care by supporting the work of those who have availed themselves by being physically there in Cambodia to carry out their Mission as God has laid upon their hearts to do. 

Not all of us can go to the Missions field to fulfill the Great Commission of our Lord Jesus Christ but all of us can give a little to those in the Missions field so that the Great Commission of our Lord can be fulfilled.

We have furnished links to their relevant websites. Please check out first before you Donate.


From: Denis Kugler <>
Date: Wed, Oct 19, 2011 at 5:11 PM
Subject: Deadly floods in Cambodia
Dear Brother, Sister
More than 260 people died in the floods, and many are still missing.
In some areas the floods reach 3 meters high.
A few hundred Christian families need your help.
2 NGO ( Seapc and Nho ) and Agape Life Ministries want to help.
With US 50 dollars we can feed 8 people, for one month by giving them rice, noodles, soy sauce and canned fish.

May the Lord bless you all for your help and your prayers
Denis Kugler
Agape Life Ministry

Please read our link below:

Can You Help? Severe Floods 
Posted by Tina Tomes 

The current flooding in South East Asia is the worst in several decades. 
Several countries are affected by this devastating flood, including 
Cambodia, Laos and Thailand. Hundreds of people have died due to 
flooding related problems such as starvation, lack of clean water, lack of 
sanitation, and snake bites. Entire families are stranded in their homes 
because they do not have a boat to leave. Other homes are covered 
completely. People and animals are gathering in any dry place they can 
find. Crops have been destroyed. Schools are closed because they are 
flooded. The situation worsens by the day and is expected to last until 
sometime in mid-November. 

In Cambodia, Fellowship Word of Life Church, led by Pastor Sinai, is 
wanting to share the gospel and love of Jesus by distributing food supplies 
to these affected people.  They have figured out that they can help feed a 
family of 8 people for one month for just $50. That’s right….$50. This  
Money would purchase and distribute a 50kg bag of rice, a carton of soy 
sauce, a box of noodles and a carton of canned fish. 

Their goal is to help at least 700 families – 100 at the Mekong River 
Church, 100 in the province of Prey Veng, 300 in the province of Kampong 
Chhnang and 200 in the province of Banteay Meanchey. Pastor Vanna, the 
pastor at FWOLC in Phnom Penh is the chairman of this project and is 
being assisted by several SEAPC-Cambodia/NHO team members – Pastor 
Sinai, Sothea, Sitha, Sokhom, Rathana and Piseth. They are also working 
in partnership with Denis Kugler of Agape Life Ministries in Phnom Penh to 
bring together the needed provisions and funding. 

Pastor Sinai and Sitha visited the affected area in Kampong Chhnang just 2 
days ago. They said that while they were there, a funeral was being held 
for a child who had died because of the flood. Many, many children are 
affected. The Cambodia Daily has reported that there has been no help so 
far from the government or NGO’s (non-profit organizations). Let’s show 
Cambodia that Jesus and His people are concerned and are helping to 
provide relief. 

To donate  you can choose following organisations : 

In the USA...... “South East Asia Prayer Centre” ( 
         Mail to:      
In Cambodia.....  “New Hope for Orphans” ( 
         Mail to: sinainewhope@hotmail.comk 
Bank transfer details 
Intermediary Bank: HSBC Bank, U.S.A., New York, N.Y. 10018 
Routing Nº: 021001088 
CHIPS ABA: 0108 

Account with Institution: ACLEDA Bank Plc., Head Office, 
Phnom Penh, Cambodia 

CHIPS UID: 415637 

Beneficiary Customer Name: NEW HOPE FOR ORPHANS 

FIELD 59:Account Nº: 0001-20-168934-1-5  

In Singapore...  Agape Life Ministries” ( 
         Mail to: 
Bank in Singapore 
Bank                      OCBC 
Acc. Name             Agape Life Ministries 
Branch Number     7339 
Acc. Number          629 012261 001 
Swift add.              OCBCSGSG 


 Click here for link to :  Agape Life Ministries

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Jais-DUMC row by Dr Ng Kam Weng

This is another interesting opinion penned by Dr Ng Kam Weng taken from The Malaysian Insider. (Click on title for original source)
* Dr Ng Kam Weng is research director at the Kairos Research Centre (Click on Name to link)

Jais-DUMC row: Sultan not properly informed — Dr Ng Kam Weng

OCT 12 — The Christian community has waited with anticipation for DYMM Sultan of Selangor to come out with a statement that will help resolve the inter-religious crisis sparked off by the Selangor Islamic Religious Department (Jais) raid on Damansara Utama Methodist Church on August 3, 2011.
We welcome the Sultan’s wish that religious harmony should continue in the state and his decree that there be no prosecution against any of the parties involved.
However, the Sultan’s statement does raise a few issues of serious concern for the non-Muslim community as there are views expressed therein that suggest that the Sultan may not have been properly informed by his advisers.
First, the statement suggests that “the actions of Jais were correct and did not breach any laws enforceable in Selangor,” as they “are in line with the jurisdiction provided under Syariah Criminal Procedure (State of Selangor) Enactment (2003), Syariah Criminal (State of Selangor) Enactment, 1995 and the Selangor Non-Islamic Religions (Control of Propagation Amongst Muslims) Enactment of 1988” (herein referred to as the “Selangor Enactment”)
With all due respect, I beg to differ from this interpretation of the state enactments. In the first place, the jurisdiction granted by Article 11(4) of the Federal Constitution was to permit the state to control or restrict the propagation of religion among people professing to be Muslims. This must be read in the context of the Article itself which fundamentally provides for every person the freedom to profess, practice and propagate his religion.
Such power to control or restrict propagation cannot be understood as absolutely prohibiting any conduct or activity on the excuse of some unspecified complaint that they are for the purposes of propagation of religion. Such power cannot be taken as licence for officials to intrude or trespass into a function conducted within the premises of what is clearly a non-Muslim religious institution (in the present case a Christian institution) without legal authority
There is no legal provision under the Propagation Enactment that allows Jais officials to intrude into the premises of DUMC, much less carry out a raid. From my reading of the Selangor Enactment (1988), the closest possible justification that can be offered by Jais are Sections 12 and 13, which specify that “an authorised officer may investigate the commission of any offence under this Enactment and may arrest without warrant any person suspected of having committed any such offence.”
He may also apply for warrants of arrest from a Magistrate to require the attendance of witnesses. There is, however, simply no unilateral power to carry out an entry and search under the Propagation Enactment or for that matter even to apply for a search warrant.
If the officer responsible for the raid intends to conduct an entry and search, he must base his power from some legal source. Jais officers appear to have acted under Syariah Enactment that does NOT apply, however, to non-Muslims and cannot be imported into the Propagation Enactment.
While superficially this provision seems to grant disturbing power to this “authorised officer”, the enforcement must be consistent with the more fundamental provisions under Part II of the Federal Constitution relating to fundamental liberties and the provisions of the Criminal Procedure Code (Act 593) relating to search and arrest which presumes that a search warrant should have been sought as a matter of course, and that the warrant is granted only upon reasonable suspicion that a seizable offence has been committed at the DUMC premises. The requirement of a search warrant is a fundamental recognition of the right to privacy within one’s own domain and space.
More importantly, given the sensitivity of inter-religious relations and the sanctity of religious places of worship, such a warrant should be granted only by a magistrate or judge from the Civil Court and only upon firm and clear grounds.
The fact remains that Jais carried out the raid with disregard for established provisions and procedure of law — the leader of the Jais party failed to present relevant identity documents to confirm he was indeed “an authorised officer”, specify the offence(s) or suspected offence(s) relating to propagation under the Selangor Enactment that was alleged to have been committed and that he had obtained a search warrant from a Magistrate or the High Court, especially when a church was the target of the raid. For these reasons, it may be argued contrary to the Sultan’s statement, that prima facie, Jais had not acted lawfully within the bounds of law when it raided DUMC.
Second, it should be noted that the statement claims “there were attempts to subvert the faith and belief of Muslims but that the evidence obtained would be insufficient for further legal actions to be taken.”
The plural word “attempts” suggests Christians at DUMC were guilty of subverting Islam not only on August 3, 2011, but that they were repeatedly committing the alleged offence. This is a most unfair and misleading accusation that imputes guilt to DUMC without offering any evidence that could be verified or refuted.
It may be noted that the English version of the Sultan’s statement uses stronger words than the official Bahasa version — it translates the word “memesongkan (distort, deviate) fahaman dan kepercayaan fahaman orang Islam” with the word “subvert the faith and belief of Muslims”
The statement unwittingly exposes the feeble foundations of its accusations when it concedes that there was insufficient evidence obtained for further legal action. In simple terms, this must means that Jais had FAILED to make a prima facie case against DUMC.
I may add that despite the attempt to hide behind the legal term of “insufficient evidence”, the reality is that there was simply NO evidence of subversion of the Islamic faith. Beating a hasty retreat from the threat of prosecuting DUMC was the best option left for Jais.
Third, it is alarming that the statement describes the activities of DUMC as subversion of the Islamic faith. This charge is injurious to the integrity of Christians with regard to their profession and practice of faith.
Regarding integrity of profession of the Christian faith: Christians at DUMC have never pretended to be teaching any religion other than Christianity. DUMC is, after all, a church. Christians have every right to uphold their beliefs and practice their faith and while doing so, should not be judged as subverting or deviating /“memesongkan fahaman” Islamic beliefs on account of the doctrinal differences between the two religions. Following the logic of Jais, Christians could equally have charged Muslims for subverting the Christian faith when Muslims preach a faith different from Christians.
Regarding practice of faith: Christians are well known for their social work that flows from their belief in the love of God for the poor and needy. As the Bible says, “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction and to keep oneself unstained from the world” (James 1:27). Hence, the press statement from DUMC says, “DUMC conducts all its activities to serve the community and for the welfare of all Malaysians regardless of creed, race or religion.”
It is therefore alarming when Jais casts aspersions against the charity work done by Christians and claims that Christians are subverting Islamic beliefs on account of their good works. It may well be the case that some needy Muslims have availed themselves to the good services offered by DUMC, and DUMC obviously cannot turn them away simply because they happen to be Muslims.
DUMC may well be charged for promoting religious disharmony if it makes religion a factor before anyone can receive welfare. On the other hand, Christians may well be advised to stop their work that may incline a Muslim to view the Christian faith favourably since this would incur the wrath of Jais officials.  At best, the Sultan’s statement can be misconstrued by mischievous parties and exploited to misrepresent the altruistic intention of Christians; at worst, it maligns the welfare work of Christians.
Therefore, we welcome the announcement made by the mentri besar of Selangor, Abdul Khalid Ibrahim, that the Selangor government will set up a special committee to fine-tune the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) followed by the Selangor Islamic Religious Department (Jais) in handling attempts to proselytise Muslims.
We hope the committee will come up with recommendations that will 1) ensure Jais fully understands and observes the bounds of its authority, that is, that it has no jurisdiction over non-Muslims, and 2) any investigation of non-Muslims leading to intervention by the Islamic authorities should follow a proper procedure and law, including obtaining a search warrant granted by senior judicial officials from a religiously neutral institution such as a Magistrate or a High Court judge.
Otherwise, the government ends up surreptitiously investing illegitimate and excessive authority to Islamic officials over non-Muslims. The consequences will be abuse of power, and insensitive and provocative actions against non-Muslim believers as seen in the case of the Jais raid of DUMC.
We do well to listen respectfully and sympathetically to the appeal from the victim of religious abuse, in this case DUMC, when it says in its media statement, “We sincerely ask that all religious communities and places of worship be treated with utmost respect and not be intruded upon.”

Friday, October 14, 2011

Closure to JAIS-DUMC issue

Finally we see a closure to the issue on the raid conducted by the JAIS officers into DUMC grounds during a thanksgiving dinner held at the latter's premises. We thank God for the decision made by the Sultan of Selangor which provided a definite closure to this unpleasant episode experienced by Pastor Daniel Ho and the congregation of DUMC. 
It cannot be denied that the JAIS-DUMC issue has sparked off a massive uproar in the nation but looking back at the events that had taken place, we see the hand of God at every juncture in this episode. While we cannot speak of the experiences of Pastor Daniel Ho and his congregation but as fellow Christians in this nation, we see the unity among believers of Jesus Christ, coming together to pray for Pastor Daniel Ho and those involved, be it in prayer meetings in churches or small group fellowships and even in the personal prayers of many individuals in their private devotion time. There was a unity in spirit among  Christians from all walks of life and from different Churches in the whole nation, uniting as one and in one spirit, crying out to our Almighty God for wisdom and deliverance.
Not only did this episode see the Churches in Malaysia uniting in prayer, Pastor Daniel Ho was heard saying that he had received encouraging messages and support from Christians from overseas too. So this episode even went global and harnessed the prayer support of Christians abroad.
We believe that God has a greater purpose for our nation of Malaysia and He is uniting the Christians here to band together as one, through various difficulties, so that we will be prepared to fulfill His great Commission as one body - the Universal Church of Jesus Christ. The Churches and the Christians in Malaysia have come out and stood by our fellow Brothers and Sisters in Christ in crisis. 
Jesus said,  “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.” (Matthew 5:14).  
Let us continue to shine together for our Lord Jesus Christ.
Coming back to the JAIS-DUMC issue, we have collected some related articles for your reading taken from The Star Online.


Monday October 10, 2011 

DUMC issue: S'gor Sultan rules no action against parties involved

SHAH ALAM: The Sultan of Selangor has ruled that no group should be prosecuted over a controversial incident on Aug 3 where the Selangor Islamic Affairs Department (Jais) conducted a search on a thanksgiving dinner event held at the Dream Centre Complex belonging to the Damansara Utama Methodist Church (DUMC).
Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah also commanded that Jais provide counselling to the Muslims who were present during the dinner which was organised by a non-governmental organisation.
"After carefully deliberating the report by Jais and after obtaining advice from religious authorities and legal experts, we are in agreement that there would be no prosecution against any parties.
"Even so, we command that Jais provide counselling to Muslims who were involved in the said dinner, to restore their belief and faith in the religion of Islam," he said.
Following is the full text of the Sultan's statement Monday:
We, the Head of the Religion of Islam in the State of Selangor, take great concern over the actions by the Enforcement Division of the Selangor Department of the Religion of Islam (Jais) which carried out a search at the Thanksgiving Dinner event which was held at Hall 3, Dream Centre Complex, Section 13, Petaling Jaya on Aug 3, 2011.
We hope that the people of Selangor, regardless of race and religion, do not misconstrue and dispute the actions of Jais before knowing exactly the true facts of the actions taken.
As the State Department responsible for the enforcement of Islamic Laws in the State, Jais has the heavy task of ensuring that the Religion of Islam in Selangor is always protected and given prestige, in line with its position as the Religion of the State of Selangor under Article XLVII of the Laws of the Constitution of Selangor, 1959, as well as the religion of the Federation under Clause (1) Article 3 of the Federal Constitution.
Jais has submitted to Us the full report of the search carried out at the Dream Centre Complex, Section 13, Petaling Jaya as well as the subsequent actions taken by Jais. We have thoroughly read in detail the said report and We are satisfied that the actions of Jais were correct and did not breach any laws enforceable in Selangor.
The actions of Jais are in line with the jurisdiction provided under Syariah Criminal Procedure (State of Selangor) Enactment, 2003, Syariah Criminal (State of Selangor) Enactment, 1995 and Selangor Non-Islamic Religions (Control of Propagation Amongst Muslims) Enactment, 1988.
The Religion of Islam as practiced in Selangor is one of tolerance. Muslims are always encouraged to respect the believers of other religions. However, persons or parties cannot take the opportunity to spread other religions to Muslims. This is in line with Clause (1) and (4) Article 11 of the Federal Constitution and Selangor Non-Islamic Religions (Control of Propagation Amongst Muslims) Enactment, 1988, which prohibits the spread of other religions to Muslims.
Article XLVII of the Laws of the Constitution of Selangor 1959, Clause (1) Article 3 and Clause (1) Article 11 of the Federal Constitution have given the freedom to believers of other religions to practice their beliefs in peace and harmony. This freedom has been practised in harmony in this State. We wish that this harmony, which has existed for a long time, will continue to exist. Protect your rights and religion and do not attempt to subvert the belief and faith of Muslims.
Based on the investigations by Jais, there is evidence that there were attempts to subvert the faith and belief of Muslims but that the evidence obtained would be insufficient for further legal actions to be taken. Therefore, after carefully deliberating the report by Jais and after obtaining advice from religious authorities and legal experts, We are in agreement that there would be no prosecution against any parties.
Even so, We command that Jais provide counselling to Muslims who were involved in the said dinner, to restore their belief and faith in the Religion of Islam. We also command Jais to carry out preaching to Muslims in a more regular and organised manner so that their belief and faith towards Islam is protected and enhanced.
We hope that after this, any and all activities being carried out or which are going to be carried out for the purposes of spreading other religions to Muslims in Selangor must be ceased immediately and no further activities or anything similar to them are carried out in the future.
We, the Head of the Religion of Islam in the State of Selangor, are gravely concerned and extremely offended by the attempts of certain parties to weaken the faith and belief of Muslims in the State of Selangor. We command that Majlis Agama Islam Selangor (Mais) and Jais always conduct thorough observations and to take necessary actions without hesitation in line with the jurisdiction allowed under the law.
We also wish to take this opportunity to thank all parties who were concerned with this issue and to those who have given their cooperation and undivided support to Jais.
H.R.H. Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah Alhaj
The Sultan of Selangor

Wednesday October 12, 2011
PETALING JAYA: The Damansara Utama Methodist Church welcomes the statement by the Sultan of Selangor that no one would be charged in connection with a Selangor Islamic Religious Department (Jais) search at the church two months ago.
Senior pastor Dr Daniel Ho stressed that activities organised by DUMC were meant to serve the community and welfare of Malaysians regardless of race, creed or religion.
“We sincerely ask that all religious communities and places of worship be treated with the utmost respect and not be intruded upon,” he said.
Dr Ho said the church had worked within the boundaries of law and public order.
“We call on all Malaysians to continue to live in peace, tolerance and harmony. We also call on all Christians to continue to act justly, to love mercy and to walk humbly with God,” he said.
Jais carried out the search during a function, organised by non-governmental organisation Harapan Komuniti, at the Dream Centre Complex belonging to DUMC on Aug 3 following a tip-off about an alleged attempt to proselytise Muslims at the dinner.
On Monday, the Sultan ruled that no group would be prosecuted over the search.
Bar Council chairman Lim Chee Wee said that Malaysians must respect the Federal Constitution which provides for states to control or restrict the propagation of any religious doctrine or belief among Muslims.
However, he voiced concern over the Non-Muslim Enactment which gave wide powers to the relevant officers to arrest, even without warrant, on suspicion that a person has committed an offence.
“The exercise of such powers can be subject to abuse and can constitute a restriction of Malaysians' rights of freedom of assembly and association,” he said.
The Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism president Tan Hoe Chieow said it accepted the Sultan's ruling that no group should be prosecuted and that non-Muslims were free to protect their rights and religions.
He said that Jais has no jurisdiction over non-Muslims and due to the sensitivity and sanctity of worship places, they must first lodge a police report if there were cases of proselytising, and the police must obtain a search warrant from the courts to enter religious places of worship.

Tuesday October 11, 2011
PETALING JAYA: The Council of Churches Malaysia has accepted the Sultan of Selangor's ruling that no group should be prosecuted over a controversial church search in August.
Its general-secretary Reverend Dr Hermen Shastri said the council took the view that Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah had settled the matter.
“We consider the Sultan's statements a closure of the DUMC (Damansara Utama Methodist Church) case,” he said yesterday.
He was commenting on the search conducted by the Selangor Islamic Affairs Department (Jais) during a dinner held at the DUMC Dream Centre on Aug 3.
“In the interests of peace, we hope that people will not speculate about or aggravate the situation further,” he said.
Meanwhile, Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim said a committee would be set up by the state government to study ways to strengthen the Selangor Islamic Affairs Department's (Jais) standard operating procedures.
He said in a statement that the special committee would be headed by legal and religious experts.
Khalid added that Jais should strengthen its administration when conducting religious checks, adding: “This issue only shows that Jais has space for improvement.”
State PAS deputy commissioner Khalid Samad described the Sultan's command to not prosecute any party and to provide counselling to Muslims present at the dinner as a good way to restore belief in Islam.
“Taking legal action and applying force to change one's mindset, especially in religious matters will not work,” he added.
“An individual's belief should not be handled with force. It should be handled in a more delicate manner. Hence, the Sultan's announcement to provide counselling is the best way in restoring belief in Islam.”
Selangor religious affairs committee chairman Datuk Dr Hasan Mohamed Ali said they would use hi-tech gadgets to prove their cases in the court.
“I will make sure that a high-performance management system and sophisticated equipment are used to defend every case,'' he said.
He said the ruling was an indication that the Sultan wanted both Jais and the Selangor Islamic Religious Council to act “professionally”.
Meanwhile, Gerakan president Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon said the Sultan, in his royal wisdom, had defused the situation.
“By further ensuring no parties will be prosecuted will allow the matter to be put to rest,” he said.
What was important now was for Jais and other agencies to review their practices on raids especially when it involved a non-Muslim place of worship, Dr Koh said.