Day 12

Posted On August 2, 2007

Filed under Prayer

Comments Dropped leave a response

SECULAR STATE OR OTHERWISE
Since Merdeka, the constitutional position of Islam as “the religion of the Federation” in Article 3 has generally been understood as primarily for ritual and ceremonial purposes.
The constitutional document explicitly expresses that Article 3 does not imply to make Malaysia a theocratic state.
The Reid Commission Report, based on the social contract made by the country’s founding fathers, has made clear that the observance of such provision “shall not impose any disability on non-Muslim nationals professing and practicing their own religions; and shall not imply that the State is not a secular state.”
In 1958, Tunku Abdul Rahman declared in the Parliament that, “I would like to make it clear that this country is not an Islamic State as it is generally understood, we merely provided that Islam shall be the official religion of the State.”
The then Lord President Tun Salleh Abas, in the case of Che Omar bin Che Soh v. Public Prosecutor (1988), after reviewing Malaysia’s constitutional history, ruled that the religion of Islam
in Article 3 meant only actions related to rituals and ceremonies. It was never intended to extend the application of Syariah to the sphere of public law.
In other words, the Federal Constitution was never intended to raise Islamic law above civil law.
Because of the existence of Islamic laws governing personal and family matters of those who profess Islam, Malaysia can be at best described as a qualified secular state.

(Extracted from http://www.necf.org.my/newsmaster.cfm?&menuid=12&action=view&retrieveid=752)

PRAY

1. Praise God for His wisdom on those involved in drafting the constitution to make Malaysia a secular state.
2. Government at all levels, i.e. the legislative, executive and judicial, to uphold our secular constitution.
3. Separation of religious institutions from the state institutions.
4. The interests of all citizens irrespective of religious background will be safeguarded.
a. Politicians will not exploit religion for their own political agenda.
b. Religious authorities will not exploit religion for their religious agenda.
5. Salt & light:
    Christian politicians to be courageous, to stand for justice and speak the truth; favour with God and men.

Advertisements

Day 11

Posted On August 1, 2007

Filed under Prayer

Comments Dropped leave a response

EDUCATION
To overcome the problem of illiteracy, the British set up vernacular schools in 1872 where Malay language was taught in the morning and religious education in the afternoon. However, sekolah pondok was still popular, especially in 1914-1945.
The Chinese vernacular school system was sponsored by individuals, the London Missionary Society and the Manchu government in China. Chung Hwa School in Penang marked the first immigrant school in Malaya. In 1920, the British enforced the registration enactment to control the Chinese schools for fear of spreading anti-British ideology.
The early Tamil schools were built on rubber estates or plantations with aid from plantation owners or Christian Missionary Societies.
The establishment of English schools aimed at giving general education irrespective of race. Japanese occupation and the struggle for independence in other colonies led the British to redefine education in the multiracial context. National schools using Malay and English as medium of instruction were set up. Chinese and Tamils schools were accepted as national-type schools where English and Malay were also used.
The first Minister of Education, Tun Abdul Razak, led a committee to revamp the colonial education system, in the effort to establish a national system that would be accepted by all. The 1956 Razak Report became the basis for the 1957 Education Ordinance.
To drive the education system to greater heights, the 5-year National Education Blueprint was launched in January 2007. The thrusts are: Building “Bangsa Malaysia”, developing human capital, strengthening national schools, narrowing the education gap between rural and urban schools, uplifting the teaching profession and pushing for educational institution excellence.

PRAY
1. Praise God
a. For our dedicated education ministers throughout the Malaysian history.
b. That the present education ministry has taken progressive and bold steps to overcome current deficiencies and weaknesses and to improve the educational system.
c. For principals and teachers who are committed.
2. Education ministry and state education departments: wisdom, impartiality, effective implementation of good policies.
3. Appointment of university chancellors and lecturers, recruitment of principals and teachers, promotion, etc., to be based on merit and capability.
4. Good stewardship in managing fund allocations to improve school systems.
5. The establishment of non-Islamic societies in all schools to be fully implemented. Open doors for Christian fellowships and the Brigades.
6. Salt & light:
a. Churches to find creative ways to relate to schools in their respective communities.
b. Christian parents to be more involved in schools.
c. More Christians to take up teaching as a vocation.

Day 10

Posted On July 31, 2007

Filed under Prayer

Comments Dropped leave a response

THE PLURAL SOCIETY
Early history indicates that a substantial number of Malay population was made up of immigrants from the Dutch colonies, e.g. Sumatra.
The influx of migrants from China and India during the British colonial period drastically changed the racial composition in the peninsula. Instead of returning to their homeland after a certain period, some migrants stayed on and developed roots. This marked the beginning of a gradual development of a plural society.
However, the British’s assumed responsibilities for Malays, Chinese and Indians led to stereotyped perceptions and segregation. Cultural integration was slow. The creation of the Chinese Protectorate made it far less important for the Malay leaders to interact with the Chinese.
According to the 1931 census, the Malays were outnumbered. Alarmed by such revelation, the British officials reiterated their commitment to safeguard the ‘special privileges’ of the Malays, i.e. to maintain the position and authority of the Malay rulers and land ownership.
The 1913 Malay Reservation Enactment was amended in 1933 to bar non-Malays from acquiring any form of land ownership. Nonetheless, the Malay rulers had a long history of co-operation with leading Chinese merchants. The relationship between the privileged Chinese and Malays were fostered in the colonial period by common experience of English education and their acceptance of their own social status.
The modern history of Malaysia suggests that religious and racial harmony has been fragile. One of the main reasons is the “identificationof religion with race coupled with the political primacy of the Malays colliding with the aspiration of other races for complete equality”, as aptly put by a political analyst.

PRAY

1. Praise God for
a. His intervention in the past racial incidents.
b. Government’s effort to create national unity and integration.
c. Respect, understanding, willingness to accommodate and share among all races.
2. Forgiveness, healing and restoration for those who were or have been hurt from racial incidents.
3. Against the spirit of strife behind those who stir up racial sentiment and religious issues for their own gain.
4. Government and leaders of all ethnic groups to walk the talk in fostering unity and integration.
5. Favouritism and racial discrimination to be removed from all policies and implementation of projects.
6. Teachers and parents to be role models and instil in their children the values of kindness and respect for one another.
7. Salt & light:
    Local churches to realise their community responsibilities with creative solutions that reveal the goodness of God.

Day 9

Posted On July 30, 2007

Filed under Prayer

Comments Dropped leave a response

POLITICAL DEVELOPMENT
Melaka marked the zenith of the Malay Sultanate. After its fall, subsidiary kingdoms and provinces became fragmented, each with it own rulers and chiefs, exerting great influence over political, economic and military matters.
During the British rule, the sultans’ powers were removed. They served as symbols of Malay political sovereignty and received only salaries and allowances.
Under the new administration, the British Residents and the Advisors were the important officials in the Federated States and the Unfederated States respectively. The highest officer was the High Commissioner with a Federal Council (formed in 1909) to advise him on new regulations and policies.
After World War II, new political awareness sparked the formation of several political parties among the Chinese, Indians and Malays. They were the UMNO, MCA and MIC representing the interests of their respective communities.
An alliance was formed in 1954 and proved to be a powerful political force. In 1973, it was replaced with a broader coalition — the Barisan Nasional — composed of 14 parties. When drafting the constitution for an independent Malaya, UMNO and MCA leaders agreed in 1956 to a ‘bargain’ whereby MCA conceded Malay special rights in return for more liberal citizenship terms, as well as a free hand for the Chinese in pursuing their economic and commercial interests.
Tunku Abdul Rahman said in 1969, “The Malays have gained for themselves political power. The Chinese and Indians have won for themselves economic power.”
The present system of government in Malaysia closely models the Westminster’s parliamentary system, a legacy of British colonial rule. Malaysian politics has been relatively stable but not without frustrating forces.

PRAY

1. Praise God for
a. His sovereignty over Malaysia throughout the political history.
b. Political stability that provides a peaceful environment for the people.
c. The role of government in His kingdom.
2. The government to fulfil its purpose by providing a trustworthy source of righteous governance and justice to serve the needs of all people irrespective of race and religion.
3. Respected men and women of integrity with wisdom and understanding to be placed in all areas of legislative, executive, judicial and military.
4. Judicial branch
a. Judges to judge without partiality, without fear of man or power or influences.
b. Access to legal remedy for everyone who is caught in any dispute or conflict.
5. As Malaysians, to appropriate our freedom and exercise our given authority to choose (vote for) men and women of character.
6. Salt & light:
a. Christians to recognise our calling to be good citizens and to work for justice so that His name is glorified at all times.
b. Christian professionals and politicians to exercise their calling by supporting the pillar of justice and to have the mind of Christ in the political arena.

Day 8

Posted On July 29, 2007

Filed under Prayer

Comments Dropped leave a response

ECONOMY IN EARLY DAYS
Foreseeing the development of a multiracial and multi-religious society, coupled with economic reason and based on their notions of different ethnic dispositions, the British introduced the policy of divide and rule to ensure stability.
In the effort to compensate the Malay rulers for their ‘loss of power’, British interference was minimal. The Malay farmers were left to continue with rice-growing.
The Chinese, seen as capitalists that would help increase the government’s revenues, were allowed to freely engage in tin-mining and commercial activities.
The British were, however, heavily involved in recruiting South Indian labourers to meet the need for plantation workers, especially with the rubber boom in the early 20th century. Such attitudes had probably set the basis for racial polarisation.
In Sarawak, economic development was restricted to uphold the preservation of the indigenous way of life. The governments of Sarawak and North Borneo (Sabah) relied on European and Chinese capital to develop export-oriented industries e.g. oil and timber.
Regardless, the British establishment of good infrastructure and effective legal and administrative systems had developed a profitable export economy on raw materials, which was the envy of Southeast Asia in those days.
Today, Malaysia’s economy is moving from labour-intensive towards skillintensive, targeting the development of higher value-added manufacturing and expansion of the services sector.

PRAY

1. Praise God for
a. His providence and blessings on the economy.
b. A resilient economy despite challenges and crises.
c. Policies that address poverty.
2. National commitment and action to eliminate poverty and address the legitimate needs of the poor.
3. Business community to realise its responsibility to provide opportunities for the poor and the less fortunate.
4. Growing and stable economic environment that enables the poor to move up and become self-reliant,
making their contribution to the quality of life in the nation.
5. Honest gain, integrity of the work force, stewardship of resources and community conscience.
6. Salt & light:
    Christian businessmen and professionals to bear testimonies of godly conscience; to conduct themselves in the world in holiness and godly sincerity; and to demonstrate God’s blessings in their respective communities.

Day 7

Posted On July 28, 2007

Filed under Prayer

Comments Dropped leave a response

INDIGENOUS BELIEFS
Indigenous beliefs are loosely classified as animism, which is considered to be the oldest religion known to mankind.
Indigenous beliefs refer to those practised by the Orang Asli of the Peninsula and the natives of Sabah and Sarawak. Their ideas of natural and supernatural world and morality are generally well structured.
Believing in a supreme being who is the creator of the world, the indigenous people recognise the importance of maintaining harmonious relationships with the community and with the different world of spirits, animals and plants. Any imbalance would result in misfortune, illness, crop failure, etc. Restitution must be made to restore the balance by appeasing the angry spirits through rituals, animal sacrifices and food offerings. Shamans (religious leaders and healers) act as intermediaries between the human and spirit worlds.
As a whole, the belief system is not officially recognised and is in effect non-institutionalised. Teachings and values are transmitted through oral tradition.
In the course of colonialism and modernisation, the indigenous people were placed in the good light of missionary zeal, the Christians and Muslims in particular.
While many have adopted other religions, the key elements of their traditional beliefs are still retained.

PRAY

1. Praise God for
a. His love for the people who live a simple life.
b. Their strong sense of community and hospitality.
2. Cultural barriers, superstitions and traditions that may prevent the people from being receptive to the Gospel to be broken down.
3. Against the spiritual forces behind all spiritual deceptions (Eph 6:12).
4. Hearts and minds to be enlightened to see the one CREATOR who gave His only begotten Son for their salvation.

Day 6

Posted On July 27, 2007

Filed under Prayer

Comments Dropped leave a response

SIKHISM
The first group of Sikhs arrived in the 1850s through British connection. However, the real wave of migration occurred in the 1870s at the dawn of British colonialism. They were largely brought in to maintain law and order in the Straits Settlements. The first unit force was the Perak Sikhs in 1884-1896.
The temple, gurdwara, is the focal point of religious and social activities. In 1881, the first gurdwara was set up in Penang by the Sikhs in the police force.
One of the earliest temples in Klang valley was Gurdwara Sahib Police in Jalan Parliament, built in 1890.
There are reportedly about 55,000 Sikhs with 119 independent gurdwaras in Malaysia.
The Malaysian Gurdwaras Council was established in 1988 to coordinate the functioning of these temples.
The Sikhs believe in one god who is formless. The ideal is to become one who is completely attuned to god’s will and whose love for god is expressed in deed and community services.

PRAY

1. Praise God for
a. His love for the Sikhs.
b. The harmonious relationship among all religious groups.
2. Religious barriers that may prevent the Sikhs from being receptive to the Gospel to be broken down.
3. Hearts and minds to be enlightened to see the TRUTH in their effort to achieve the ‘ideal’.

Day 5

Posted On July 26, 2007

Filed under Prayer

Comments Dropped leave a response

HINDUISM
Archaeological evidence shows early Indian visits to Perlis in the 5th or 6th century. Tamil sources attest to the close relationship between Kedah and the Chola Kingdom of South India.
Religious monuments in Bujang valley, Kedah, dating to the 7th century have been discovered.
Sir Poyyatha Vinayagar Moorthi Temple on Jalan Hang Jebat, Melaka, built in 1781, is said to be the oldest working Hindu temple in Malaysia.
Indian merchants in the early centuries brought the people of the west coast into contact not only with Buddhism but also Hinduism. However, much of Hindu worship and practice was imported through large scale migration of Indians in the 19th century, many of whom were of South Indian descent.
The temple is an essential component of the Hindu practice of worship. Salvation, one of the basic beliefs of Hindus, means the state of freedom from reincarnation and union with the Almighty.
Although a matter for debate, Hindu influence on the local culture (e.g. wayang kulit), language and political concept is rather apparent.

PRAY

1. Praise God for
a. His love for the people.
b. The harmonious relationship among all religious groups in the country.
c. The Tamil-speaking churches.
2. Cultural barriers, superstitions and traditions that may prevent the people from being receptive to the Gospel to be broken down.
3. Against the spiritual forces behind all spiritual deceptions (Eph 6:12).
4. Hearts and minds to be enlightened to see the TRUTH.

Day 4

Posted On July 25, 2007

Filed under Prayer

Comments Dropped one response

CHINESE RELIGION
The Chinese Religion is a mix of Taoism, Confucianism and Mahayana Buddhism. The belief is predominantly expressions of cultural characteristics, ethic and philosophy observed over many generations.
Taoism combines old animistic harmony with the universe. Confucianism takes care of the political and moral aspects of life, while Buddhism takes care of the afterlife. The practice of ancestor worship is rooted in the Confucian concept of filial piety.
The Encyclopedia of Malaysia traces the early history of the Chinese religions back to a 15th century small settlement established in Melaka by Hokkien traders.
However, the building of shrines and cemeteries was attributed to the mass migration of Chinese in the 19th century during the tin and gold mining days. Temples, practices and religious rituals served as important links to migrants’ hometowns.
Leaders of the Chinese communities were called Kapitan. Some of them became the patron saints worshipped by the Chinese. For example, the leader of the Sarawak Hakka gold miners, who died during the anticolonial uprising in 1857, was declared Dai Pak Gong for establishing Kuching as the capital of Sarawak. A statue of him was placed in a temple, worshipped by the local Chinese.
The Malaysian Chinese Religion also integrated the local value and belief system producing some local deities such as the Na Tuk Kong and Tua Pek Kong.
The Cheng Hoon Teng temple in Melaka is the oldest temple in the country, built in 1645.

PRAY

1. Praise God for
a. His love for the people who have yet to believe in Him.
b. The harmonious relationship among all religious groups in the country.
c. The flourishing of the Chinese-speaking churches throughout Malaysia.
2. Cultural barriers, superstitions and traditions that may prevent the people from being receptive to the Gospel to be broken down.
3. Against the spiritual forces behind all spiritual deceptions (Eph 6:12)
4. Hearts and minds to be enlightened to see the TRUTH.

Day 3

Posted On July 24, 2007

Filed under Prayer

Comments Dropped leave a response

BUDDHISM
There are two major branches of Buddhism: Mahayana & Theravada.

The artifacts discovered in the Bujang Valley of Kedah point to the existence of Mahayana Buddhism in the 4th or 5th century. The writings of a Chinese pilgrim Yiqing in the 7th century suggest that Kedah, a vassal of Srivijaya, was already an important port for trade as well as a major religious satellite centre.
Srivijaya, the first Indonesian kingdom, was a centre of Buddhist learning. Its historical record presents the evidence of Mahayana Buddhism in the Malay Peninsula in those days.
The 8th century saw northern Peninsula under the influence of Buddhism. Perak became part of the great Malay Buddhist kingdom of Srivijaya.
Another form of Buddhism, Theravada, spilled over to Kelantan and Terengganu from Thailand in the 10th century.
As the Srivijaya kingdom declined in the 11th century, Buddhist influence gradually disappeared. The influx of Chinese traders and migrant workers reintroduced Mahayana Buddhism to Malaysia, particularly under the British rule in the 19th century. Kek Lok Si Temple (Penang) was built at the end of the century.
The immigrants of Sri Lanka brought with them Theravada Buddhism and founded the Brickfields Buddhist temple, Maha Vihara (Kuala Lumpur), in 1894.
Two years after the 1957 Independence, the Malaysian Buddhist Association was formed to promote unity and social welfare of Malaysian Buddhists.

PRAY

1. Praise God for
a. His love for the Buddhists.
b. The harmonious relationship among all religious groups in the country.
2. Religious barriers that may prevent the Buddhists from being receptive to the Gospel be broken down.
3. Hearts and minds to be enlightened to see the TRUTH.

« Previous PageNext Page »