3 Things Christians Can Do When Malaysia is in Pain
Ask anyone in the street what’s wrong with our country and you’ll get a litany of woes – the economy, our children’s education, race relations and our standing in the international arena. I get an earful if I start a conversation on this with friends.
It does seem that anything that could go wrong in the country, has gone wrong. The political intrigues we read on social media are no longer mere coffee shop talk, but are having a real impact on our everyday lives due to the authorities’ decisions, or non-decisions.
An important role to play
As such, I keep hearing about parents who are sending their children overseas for university, with the explicit instruction to stay and find a job abroad. These plus those who have migrated means a growing brain drain for the country.
Decisions to leave make a huge impact on the Malaysian Church. From a pastoral perspective, more efforts have to be made for elderly care in our churches. From a leadership viewpoint, there will be succession issues with less capable men and women to pass the baton to.
Malaysia is in trouble and the government is the most obvious target for caustic comments, criticism and outright condemnation. Nevertheless, I’m going to make an optimistic and seemingly naïve comment, to say that we Christians have a unique role to play in the present national crisis.
Here’s what we can do:
- Pray and fast for those in authority. In 1 Timothy 2:1-3, Paul instructs Timothy to pray for kings and all those in authority. It’s so that all may live peaceful and quiet lives in godliness and holiness. Immediately following in verses 5-6, Paul proclaims Christ as the mediator between God and mankind. Praying for the nation’s welfare and proclaiming the Gospel, therefore, go hand in hand for all believers to practise.
- Play our part in nation building. In public life, many younger people have taken active roles in politics. They continue to make a difference in nation-building. The most high profile to date is YB Hannah Yeoh, Malaysia’s first woman speaker. A Christian herself, she is regarded as a role model who has inspired many to participate in politics, run for office and serve the nation.
- Perform acts of mercy. There are many Christians who are quietly serving in civil society and non-government organisations, from feeding the poor to housing the destitute, caring for the environment and seeking justice for migrant communities, the marginalised and the disadvantaged. These people deserve our salute and admiration, and are worthy to be emulated.
>>READ: 6 Ways to Care for Malaysia (Spotlight)
>>READ: How should Christians respond to the government? (Discovery Series)
At the end of the day, we are all Malaysians. I get goosebumps each time my flight touches down in KLIA with the announcement, “…and to all Malaysians, ‘Selamat pulang ke tanah air’”. While I’m a citizen of another kingdom (Philippians 3:20), I still love Malaysia and this is home for me. And though some of us may struggle with how we are valued, yet in obedience to Scripture, let us continue to pray and participate in the life of this nation.
About the Author
Tan Meng Poo is Senior Vice President, Operations Asia Pacific for Our Daily Bread Ministries. He is an ordained minister with the Anglican Diocese of West Malaysia.
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