Friday, January 20, 2012

Matching words with deeds

I refer to the Malaysiakini report, Bishop calls on PM to match words with deeds.

I salute Bishop Paul Tan for his courage to stand up for his principle even if it meant he had to go against those in power, including the Prime Minister of the country. I need such courage so do all of us who mean well for our country.

Prime Minister Najib Razak says a lot of comforting things but remains silent when it matters most. He has been silent even with the barrage of insults directed at others especially the Christians by those in his own camp. He claims to be moderate in words but has yet to prove it in his actions. Unless he speaks up against extremism within his own camp, how can he claim to be moderate? If only Najib can match his words with action, he will go down in history as the prime minister who stood for his principles.

Our nation faces a lot of uncertainties and dangers today especially posed by those with extremist views who claim they are “struggling” to defend the perceived loss of their rights. Who is threatening them and who are they struggling against? How can less than 10% of the population be a threat to the majority?

We congratulate Bishop Tan for being consistent in his fight for truth and against injustice. He not only preaches but also practices what he preaches, something rare today among leaders including the religious as well. He has proven himself as a role model not for Christians alone but all Malaysians who want justice done to the ordinary man on the street.

As Christians, in particular Catholics, we should emulate him in standing up for injustice in our own surroundings inside and outside the church. We cannot run away from the fact that following Jesus means much more than just attending church but to stand up for justice especially when it involves the less fortunate among us.

The important question to ask ourselves is whether we are willing to match our words with deeds, to practice what we preach and preach only what we practice.

While we admire Bishop Paul Tan for his relentless fight against corruption and injustice, we hope he can also look into the many problems that we are facing in our own church. Hope he with his brother bishops can address the large number of lay Catholics who are unhappy in the church for many reasons.

One of the major problems in our church today is the exodus of members and passivity of existing members as witnesses of Christ. It is sad to see so many born and bred Catholics who have been actively involved for many years leaving the church. Not only the nation is experiencing a brain drain, the church too is experiencing one. It may be timely for us to get to the root of this problem and seriously act to stop this exodus.

To my mind and in my experience this is basically due to the lack of dialogue and discussion. It is time to inculcate a culture of open discussion in a conducive environment of the various plans, projects and problems in a civil and peaceful manner. Are we willing to do that?

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