Hornbill Unleashed

April 16, 2013

Bishop condemns ‘Sunday’ polling

RK Anand

Bishop Paul Tan says the decision to hold polling on a Sunday, reflects the callous insensitivity towards Christians.

The Election Commission’s decision to hold the 13th general election on a Sunday has earned the wrath of a senior clergyman.

Bishop Paul Tan condemned it as a reflection of the callous insensitivity towards Christians here.

He said that despite the government knowing that Sunday is a holy day where Christians must go to Church and worship God, EC has fixed May 5 for polling.

“This disrespect of the government of the Christian rights is to be denounced. It just proves that the government is not sincere in its 1Malaysia slogan,” added the head of the Malacca and Johor diocese.

Tan noted that the voting in the last two general elections was held on a Saturday which is ideal for the discharge of the civic obligation to vote, particularly in a country that adheres to a five-day work week.

Of a sudden, he said, this time the vote has been fixed for a Sunday which would be disruptive to Christians wanting to acquit themselves of their religious and civic duties on the same day.

The vocal bishop said the decision to hold the vote on a Sunday is characteristic of the government’s insensitivity to Christians as reflected by the immunity conferred on some politicians who engaged in stoking unfounded fears of Christian proselytisation of Muslims and even threatened to burn the bible.

“This decision to hold the vote on a Sunday caps a series of actions or their lack which in combination reflect callous insensitivity to the feelings of Christians in Malaysia,” he added.

‘Consider carefully before voting’

Stopping short of calling on Christians to vote for the opposition, Tan said for this reason, he would urge the Catholics in his diocese to consider carefully before voting.

“The BN government is demonstrably false in respect of its slogan of 1Malaysia which we understand to be a call to build a united nation. The slogan has been honoured more in the breach than in the observance,” he added.

Tan also revealed that in his diocese there are many priests who have to return to their original residence where they have registered as voters.

And now, he said, they are caught in a dilemma: to say Mass (the Catholic way of worshipping God and receiving His blessings) or to return to vote.

“I too am caught in this situation as I am unable to return to Petaling Jaya, where I am registered as a voter, to cast my vote,” he added.

Tan also pointed out that there are Christian workers attached to Churches in the diocese and are now finding it hard to return to their hometown to vote.

“What about people living in the interior like the Orang Asli in Sabah and Sarawak. They too will be caught in such a dilemma,” he stressed.

At the last census conducted by the Catholic Church, the Catholic population was placed at 926,000 among 2.2 million Christians in an overall population of 28 million.

Following several controversies, which have placed the church and the government at loggerheads, observers note that vexed Christian voters might punish the ruling coalition in the coming polls.


  1. Bishop Tan, please remind all the Churches to ring the bell for few minutes every hour from 8am to 5pm to remind all Christians to vote and vote out corruption, bigotry, oppression, repression and cronyism.

    Comment by Jeffrey Adam — April 17, 2013 @ 7:47 PM | Reply

  2. Christians, you dont have to worry, be that the voting day falls on Sunday or what week day. It will make no different, because every day is God Blessed Day. Do your weekly or Sunday attendance to God’s houses because that will be first priority above all worldly things. You will have His even greater gifts of knowledge and guidance when you enter into His presence and talk to Him in your prayers and adorations. He will guide you to the best choice of your votes because He has great plan for Malaysia in His love for all mankinds and races.

    Let me tell you this. Police SB information during one Sibu Sarawak by-election pointed to BN leading indication the morning to noon time assessment. However, after 1230 noon time when many many Christians of all races flooded out from churches in and around the city of Sibu, the ballot boxes were rained with pro-DAP vote papers. The assessment went rocket up over taking BN. And, the result I need not tell you, you all know better

    What ever it might be, please pray to GOD to uphold peace and harmony, forgiving and loving kindness to take roots in the hearts of all parties, candidates, groups and individuals, directly or indirectly involved in the GE-13. Let us all remember that we all have a greater kingdom for our enternal lives, that is the Kingdom of God, the creator of all.

    Comment by PEACE LOVING MALAYSIAN — April 17, 2013 @ 12:18 PM | Reply

  3. Fellow Christian, Voting is our responsibility. God has given us this opportunity to vote for good and rid our nation of evil. Have a early worship on Sunday, May 5th.Then send your flock out to fulfill their responsibility to vote for a government who respect freedom of worship. Church leaders and pastors especially those in Sabah and Sarawak, remember the year of JUBILEE. 2013 is 50 years after the formation of MALAYSIA. We have a few Sundays before polling day. Preach on JUBILEE and pray for a just government. For those in Sabah and Sarawak who do not have time to go to church that Sunday, 5th of May, have church as a family and then go vote for freedom to worship your GOD.

    Comment by SH Teh — April 16, 2013 @ 10:01 PM | Reply

  4. The Christian community in Sibu know their Christian responsibility in this very important election despite BN using public fund to distribute cash, grants and goodies to churches, schools and individuals. We shall reflect for a moment. What is it that BN want from the rakyat? They want enough votes from us to remain in power and be free from investigation into corruptions and power abuse. Christians to decide. Do we allow ourselves to habour criminals and condone corruption, bigotry, nepotism and cronyism ? Is this the kind of government that we the Rakyat and as Christians wanted? Or we want an accountable, transparent and competent goverment from now onwards? As the Malays themselves had rightly pointed out that the Umno led government has been and is a government of Umno, by Umno and for Umno , which is one of the most corrupted and racist political parties in the world today.

    Comment by Bidayuh Headmaster — April 16, 2013 @ 7:37 PM | Reply


    Comment by VINCENT AK PAUL — April 16, 2013 @ 3:29 PM | Reply

  6. The solution is simple. We, as Christians, should all go to the polling stations to vote out the BN in the morning. We shall all have our mass and a prayer vigil at 7pm . This may well be the last time practising Christianity is our right, not privileges..

    Comment by Your choice. — April 16, 2013 @ 1:11 PM | Reply

  7. We shall not miss our Sunday obligation and we shall also exercise our Christian responsibility to vote for good governance and vote out corruption, cronyism, bigots, racism and nepotism.

    Comment by Irene Kana — April 16, 2013 @ 9:40 AM | Reply


    Comment by Alfred gan — April 16, 2013 @ 6:08 AM | Reply

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