PETALING JAYA: The Catholic Church’s Malaysian Bishops’ Conference has hailed the results of the 14th general election (GE14) last week as a “golden opportunity” for the country to press the “reset” button.
“Everyone must now live in peace and harmony without suspicion of one another as fellow citizens. A new Malaysia has emerged.
“Many people have expressed sentiments of joy in being Malaysian first,” the group of nine archbishops and bishops from Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah and Sarawak said in a joint statement, titled “Rakyat has spoken, syabas”.
Claiming that the future of the nation was now truly in the people’s hands, the church leaders said they were also grateful for a peaceful GE14.
“We would like to give praise and thanks to God for a relatively peaceful GE14. We are grateful and thankful for a matured electorate which has come of age.
“To all the Election Commission officials, the polling and counting agents, the thousands of volunteers and responsible citizens assisting in the background, ‘syabas’ for an almost incident-free election.”
The Malaysian Bishops’ Conference comprises three archbishops, Julian Leow of the Archdiocese of Kuala Lumpur, Simon Poh (Kuching) and John Wong (Kota Kinabalu); and six bishops, Sebastian Francis of the Penang diocese, Bernard Paul (Melaka-Johor), Cornelius Piong (Keningau), Julius Dusin Gitom (Sandakan), Joseph Hii (Sibu) and Richard Ng (Miri).
“We have witnessed humility and the seeking of forgiveness for past mistakes.
“We have seen reconciliation offered and received; observed graciousness in defeat; and a love for peace and harmony for this country.
“So, let us put into practice more and more the values of the Gospel.”
The church leaders also called for the people to continue to pray for Malaysia.
“There should be greater peace and reconciliation in the nation in the aftermath of GE14.
“We must pray for healing and unity among all of us,” the church leaders said, calling on Catholics nationwide to offer prayers and services to ensure the country’s peace is maintained.