Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD,
The people whom He has chosen for His own inheritance (Psalm 33:12)
This will be the last parliamentary session before the general elections. Are you ready? The issues before our nation are many and varied. The 1MDB scandal has not gone away and corruption is worsening. The latest Corruption Perception Index released by Transparency International shows that we have dropped from a ranking of 55 in 2016 to 62 last year. Cost of living has risen and is affecting the poor badly. Recent re-delineation of electoral boundaries gives further cause for concern. And there are signs of the crimping of religious freedom and the possible extension of Hudud regulations. The use of legal and enforcement powers to hustle political opponents remains.
What are the positives? Economic growth continues solidly. Our Q4 growth last year hit 5.9% year-on-year which is beyond analysts’ estimates of 5.7%. The figure in Q3 was even more impressive: 6.9%, a three year high. Commodity prices have gone up and oil price has stabilized above the USD 60 per barrel mark. Tourism has grown. All these have contributed to a stronger ringgit. And the Federal government has agreed to return to Sarawak the rights to her new oil fields. May we seek the same in Sabah! Is it that simple? A trade off between greater economic growth and greater freedom?
I am simplifying something that is obviously more complex. We cannot hope to unravel things rationally just by an election result. Let me say it now; whoever wins, there will be no immediate silver bullet to solve our woes! But we could seek for the Lord’s purposes to govern our land through GE14 and beyond, and to set the process in place now. To do that, we must pray from a position of spiritual governance not human reason, of spiritual authority not carnal supplication. We must see as God sees. Bless the land and the authorities, not scold or curse it. And bring His Kingdom purposes to pass.
这是全国大选前的最后一季国会会议了。您准备好了吗? 我们国家面临着繁杂和多变的问题，1MDB （一马发展公司）的丑闻持续升温，贪污问题也不断地恶化。国际透明组织最新出炉的贪污印象指数显示，我国已经从2016年的第55排名滑落至去年的第62名位置。生活费日渐上升，贫苦一群都百上加斤。最近，重新界定选区引发了民众更深的关注。有迹象显示，宗教自由受到威胁， 甚至想扩大伊斯兰法庭的权利，来落实伊斯兰刑事法（Hudud Law）。滥用法律和执法权力来煽动政治对手的手段仍然存在。
若我们往正面的方向去思考呢? 经济持续趋稳增长。去年第四季度的增长率（Q4 growth）已超越分析师所预测的5.7%，达至5.9%增长率。第三季度增长率（Q3 growth）更加出色：高达 6.9%，创三年新高。物价日渐攀升，油价稳定，至少有每桶60美元以上，旅游业也一直在增长。这些都使得马币强势回弹。联邦政府也已同意交还砂劳越的新油田主权。我们当期盼同样的政策也落实在沙巴！但是，在经济增长和个人自由之间做权衡，事情真的有如此简单吗？
Philip Lyn 医生牧师