Godliness makes a nation great, but sin is a disgrace to any people.
When we elected a new government last year, immense celebrations were mixed with escalating tensions. Would there be a peaceful transition of government? We watched, we waited, we prayed… The people had spoken but would the incumbents give up their power peacefully? We forget too easily how fragile those early hours were, how the then prime minister designate Tun Mahathir, managed to pre-empt the moves of forces seeking to disrupt peace, and wrest the initiative back. We cheered. We yelled ourselves hoarse; so inebriated with euphoria were we. He was our hero, our national saviour, our very own “Tun” and in-house-doctor!
Now, eighteen months later, the mood is more somber. The nation seems to have polarized more instead of healing. On race and religion, the gaps are wider than ever. Extremist personalities make fiery, seditious speeches but have not been charged, to date. Race-based political parties call for the mass boycott of goods made by its own citizens who are of a different race or religion! How stupid is that? Within the present coalition, there is factionalism and deep division. Many ministers are woefully underperforming. It seems insufficient attention is being given to the bigger issues of direction and policies. The prime minister seems distracted by “other things”.
We are impatient for change. Not just because we voted for one. But because we are long overdue for one after 60 years of the same party rule. We now see reforms in the judiciary and the prosecution of those charged with kleptocracy and corruption. But reforms in educational policies, race relations, transparency in government tenders, and press freedom are lagging. Voice out on social media by all means, but above all we need to rise up and pray. Take nothing for granted. This is not the end. It’s not even the beginning of the end. It is perhaps, as Churchill once said, “the end of the beginning…”
Ps Dr Philip Lyn 医生牧师