Praying for Malaysia in the Aftermath of its National Election
(The following article was published in the Asia (print) edition of The Economist May 11, 2013 and shared with us by the Malaysia Prayer Fellowship.)
Malaysia’s General Election, Tawdry victory, The government scrapes home—allegedly aided by vote rigging
ON MAY 5th Malaysia’s Barisan Nasional coalition, led by the prime minister, Najib Razak, was re-elected for the 13th time in a row. Barisan won a majority of seats in parliament, 133 out of 222, against 89 for the opposition, a three-party coalition called Pakatan Rakyat and led by Anwar Ibrahim. The turnout was a record 85%. And so the same government which has ruled Malaysia since independence from Britain in 1957 is set for another five years in office.
Within Barisan, the overriding sense is of relief. It did slightly better in terms of seats than some had predicted. Scratch the surface, however, and in almost every respect this was a lamentable result for the ruling coalition, its worst ever. Not only did it lose a further seven seats to Pakatan, but it won with only 47% of the popular vote. It is further evidence of how the electoral system is skewed in Barisan’s favour, allowing it to stack up seats in the rural Malay heartlands with far fewer voters than Pakatan needs to win seats in more urban areas. In many places the opposition increased large majorities. For instance, in Penang in the north of the country the Barisan defeat was so humiliating that its candidate for governor, Teng Chang Yeow, resigned from all his party posts. Several government ministers lost their seats.
Most striking was that ethnic Chinese (about a quarter of the population) shifted their votes away from Barisan towards the opposition. The Chinese party of the Barisan coalition, the Malaysian Chinese Association, won just seven seats, down from 15, whereas the opposition’s mainly Chinese Democratic Action Party (DAP) picked up ten seats, for a final tally of 38.
Mr. Najib, unwisely, spoke of a “Chinese tsunami” breaking over his Barisan coalition. He has only his party to blame. The United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) dominates the Barisan coalition and appeals mainly to ethnic Malays and other indigenous groups who make up two-thirds of the population. UMNO ran a nasty, divisive campaign in the heartlands. This shored up its base of rural Malay voters, known as the bumiputra (“sons of the soil”). But it also alienated Chinese and other voters, already tired of the cronyism and corruption associated with affirmative-action policies that favour Malays over other ethnicities in business, education and the civil service.
So, despite professing to promote a multi-ethnic Malaysia, Barisan’s election strategy has left the country more divided than ever, both along ethnic lines and between urban and rural areas. The Malay press has not helped, with headlines asking “What more do the Chinese want, as it ethnic Chinese acted ungratefully towards Barisan…
Yet the result will not be the only dent in the government’s authority. So too will be the manner in which it was gained. Barisan starts all elections with incumbent advantages, including a slavish state media, tons of cash and constituency boundaries drawn in its favour. On top of that, allegations of dirty campaign tricks abound. “Phantom voters”, for example, appear to have been bussed into marginal constituencies to boost the Barisan vote. Nurul Izzah Anwar, Mr. Anwar’s daughter, contested one such seat in Kuala Lumpur. She and her supporters met several Bangladeshi workers who had been brought into the constituency to vote. She won, but only just…
Mr Anwar claims that fraud cost him the election. On May 8th. he and followers staged a big protest rally against the result. His claim is almost certainly an exaggeration. Still, the bitterness engendered by the vote will persist. “National reconciliation”, which Mr. Najib sees as the way to heal the wounds, looks a way off.
Pray for the healing of Malaysia’s political, social and religious divisions and for the raising up of strong indigenous church movements in all the diverse people groups of this multi-cultural nation.
Rocked by a Close Vote, Malaysia Faces Uncertain Path
The political coalition led by Prime Minister Najib Razak won a narrow victory in Sunday’s national election in Malaysia, but it now faces widespread accusations of electoral fraud. Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim says he will lead a “fierce” protest against Razak's party, a move that could turn Malaysia on its head and derail the economic progress achieved over the last half century.
Please continue to pray for Malaysia as it moves towards a more just and corruption-free society
Stirrings of the Spirit in Sabah, Malaysia
Here is the testimony of seven Sabah pastors. Praise God for His awesome power!
The islands had been particularly steeped in black magic and spirit worship for may years. Despite the efforts of missionaries sent there were no breakthroughs as the natives felt Christianity to be weak (love, submit, turn other cheek). There were churches already planted there, but they struggled, were poor financially, and pastors could barely make ends meet.
And then on Sept 16 2012, the beginning of the year of Jubilee, a change began. Villagers started to respond to the call of the Word of God, and many repented of their ways starting to profess Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour... In the churches, numbers were added daily. The farmers reported that their crop harvest in 2012 yielded 10 times more (50-70 gunny sacks per acre) than in previous years and in living memory (usually 5-7 sacks).
The Christians found themselves suddenly being favoured by the non-believing neighbours. Many a non-believing household invited Christians over to pray over them... even the bomohs and witch doctors as they witnessed and experienced the grace of God surpassing their black magic and witchcraft.
The church continues to grow daily in the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Church funds that were barely sufficient before have doubled, then tripled, then quintupled in the 3 months following September 16 and continue to grow.
The pastors and church are so busy going village to village evangelising from morn till evening now so they do not even have time to answer the mobile phone.
The shofar is being sounded across the land everywhere and even outside mosques, the imams start to choke and cannot complete the azan and strongholds of evil one by one begin to fall. It is reported that the grave stones weep as demons are cast out.
There is forgiveness and unification of communities and with these- prosperity rises out of poverty, hope in place of despair, love and compassion dispels, fear, isolation and discrimination.
The pastors are all simple humble young men who speak only Bahasa Malaysia... but when they pray and sound the shofar... I can feel my spirit tremble and quicken.
At their prayer mountain, they testified that while praying the Holy Spirit came light a mighty wind and surrounded them and touched them and over head the cloud yielded drops of rain..... rain that only surrounded them in a circle.. beyond which all was dry. The one by one that saw a vision of a huge ominous black cloud over the land... a cloud that then shattered and was dispelled... replaced by bright radiant light.
As one of the Pastors prayed, another sounded his shofar (I have never heard someone blow the shofar in 5 different pitches in one breath before) ... and the praying pastor prophesied, "I am coming to this land now and My glory shall be declared across the nation."
Friends in the Lord, the revival, the change we looked for, began the day wet set our hearts and voices to the Lord on Malaysia day! He has been ever faithful and ever loving in His mercy and grace to reach out for those who have still to find it. So let us continue to pray and petition with thanksgiving in our hearts for the Lord’s revival to fan out and spread out throughout our whole nation, so every tribe, every tongue/dialect, people group, will receive His Mercy and together we can heal the land and restore His justice.
Remember we are the salt and light..... we need to shake ourselves and pour ourselves out to flavour the nation and cleanse it.... and to let the light shine out in the darkness so that those who live without sight can now see the glory of the Lord approaching.
From: Ruth Ratnam (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Malaysia General Elections on May 5
Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib Razak has dissolved parliament, Wednesday, April 3rd paving the way for a long-anticipated general election that could be the closest the ruling coalition has faced in its 56-year rule since independence.
Najib's National Front (Barisan National) coalition lost its two-thirds parliamentary majority for the first time in 2008 elections and faces a confident three-party opposition alliance led by former deputy Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim.
The general election is expected to be held on May 5th following a two-week campaign period.
· PRAY for God’s rule and reign to become an increasing reality across Malaysia, and in the lives of increasing numbers of Malaysians of all races.
· PRAY for the men and women standing for election, a number of them believers, to not only run an honest campaign, but for those elected to be true to their word.
· PRAY for the thousands of believers in East Malaysia whose votes are expected to be critical in the outcome of the election.
· PRAY the elections will lead to a season wherein the people may live peaceful lives in all godliness and holiness, a season of increased religious freedom for all races, a season of justice and righteousness.
Additional prayer concerns sent by a Malaysian friend:
1. Peace & harmony during and after elections
2. Righteous candidates to be elected to every parliamentary seat and every state assembly seat
3. New government will respect people's rights, uphold justice, incorruptibility, ethics and freedom to believe
4. New government to be good stewards and wisely manage our national debt
5. Men and women to be elected who will be peacemakers, foster reconciliation and unity.
6. Pray against extremists from being elected.
7. Members of the media will publish news truthfully and with integrity giving factual information.
8. Church will rise up to pray.
9. Church will be united an love one another during this time.
10. Church to participate in the voting process and encourage members to participate in the voting process.
11. Young people constitute 43% of the population. 3 million new voters are below 40. Pray for them as they vote for the first time. My son and daughter are also first time voters.
12. Every election official of the Election Commission, police, RELA and army will act justly during campaigning and uphold peace and order.
13. Election officials especially polling and counting against to serve diligently and honorably.
14. Citizens to vote for men and women of righteousness, God's choice.
15. God's Spirit to overshadow our voters when casting the ballot.
Malaysia’s National Election
A short video clip concerning the upcoming election and the campaign that is happening now. Please pray for an honest election and for just leadership for this nation of SE Asia that will eliminate corruption and uphold the religious and political freedom of all Malaysia’s peoples.
Malaysia: Unity Breakthrough for the Prayer Movement!
We are happy to respectfully inform you that on 5 July 2012, in a historic moment for the Protestant churches in Malaysia, nineteen (19) church and prayer leaders met at the office of the Methodist Church in Malaysia, Petaling Jaya. The came from all over the country, representing most of the major prayer networks in the country, including those of NECF and CCM, and also denominational and regional Pastors’/Ministers’ Fellowships. All came at short notice but with prepared hearts and minds, as each had been burdened with an urgent sense of the Lord’s call for united prayer for the church and nation.
During the dialogue, various participants shared their concerns. There was general agreement that the country is facing many critical issues, and the Malaysian Church needs to come together in prayer. And it was noted that, if the church is to play a significant role in national transformation, we must take seriously the call to live as a holy people, to strive for genuine unity, and to pour our hearts out in prayer for our nation!
The meeting was marked by a great sense of unity and hope, as well as much joy in every heart over the common desire for a united prayer initiative to bring the whole church together to seek God’s blessing for our country. We believe that through such an expression of unity and love for one another (Ephesians 4:1-6) Christ would be truly glorified. We praise and thank God for giving us this unity of the Spirit in the first place! We therefore would like humbly to invite all the churches and Christians in this country to join with us in a common prayer platform for the nation. We do this in response to God’s promise in 2 Chronicles 7:13-14 (NIV):
“When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among my people, if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” This united platform will be called PRAYER UNITED, and its terms of reference are:
· All Christians, churches, and prayer networks in Malaysia coming together to pray for the church and our nation.
- The first purpose is to set up a united prayer movement for the whole church to coordinate prayer and to enhance unity among Christians.
- The second purpose is to challenge the whole church to pray together for the transformation of society and nation. In particular, the focus will be on the two upcoming key national events, namely, the National Jubilee Celebration, beginning on 16 September, 2012, and the upcoming General Elections, GE13.
The following are the objectives of PRAYER UNITED:
- To identify key strategic issues for prayer and to communicate these clearly and quickly to all prayer networks and churches.
- To serve as a link for all those involved in prayer in our churches, including both those in NECF and CCM, and to coordinate our efforts to ensure that our prayers are united in purpose and focus.
- To challenge the church to pray for God’s special blessings upon our nation in the Jubilee Year (Level. 25:10-12), the 50th Year of the formation of our nation, so that it will usher in a new season of peace, prosperity, freedom, and justice for our land.
- To call on the church to pray that the upcoming General Election, GE13, will be carried out peacefully and with integrity and that those elected will be honest and able men and women who sincerely have the country’s true and long-term interest in their hearts.
HE WAY FORWARD The work of Prayer United will be coordinated for the moment by an Interim Committee with representations from all major prayer networks present at the meeting on 5 July, 2012. This committee will function until after the Jubilee Celebrations and GE13, when the present set-up will then be reviewed.
- All communications from PRAYER UNITED will be coordinated by the two Joint Secretaries, Ms. Chrisanne Chin and Rev. Andy Chi, who are respectively in charge of the prayer ministries of CCM and NECF.
- All communication released would be made available in Bahasa Malaysia, English, Chinese, and Tamil for dissemination to the churches.
We look to you to join us in this spiritual venture of prayer so that all of us will see the Lord’s blessings poured out upon our nation, bringing about a powerful transformation for the good and well-being of all citizens in our land. May our prayers and our lives serve to glorify our Lord Jesus Christ, even as we pray: ‘Your Kingdom come; Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven!’ Les us humbly seek God together to ask Him to reveal His glory in Malaysia in our day. Let us also ask Him for grace that we may fulfill His purpose for His church and nation in our generation. May His name be praised and glorified exceedingly in every way!
The Interim Committee, PRAYER UNITED
Andy Chi (Rev.)
Congratulations to our brothers and sisters in Christ in Malaysia on such a welcome move forward! Let’s pray for this new movement of united prayer to result in the transformation of the nation and learn from this wonderful model in our own nations.
Praying for Malaysia and the Malay…A People Loved of God!
"...the time is coming to gather all nations and tongues. And they shall come and shall see my glory." (Isaiah 66:18)
"Things always happen when we pray, especially when we pray in loving unity. (We) can hear God together and come to agreement. (We) can stand in the gap, ask forgiveness, bind and loose, and proclaim blessing." John Dawson
In the year 1612, the translation of the Gospel of Matthew in the Malay language was completed...it was published in 1629. ...Since 1964, there has been a flurry of various new translations both in Indonesian and Malay languages. But we are asked to pray for those efforts to make the Scriptures available in the Malay language that would be 'acceptable' to the majority people...a project based on Shellabear's work but wrought with security issues and much debate over terminology.
PRAY for the Word of God to be widely available and read and for God to speak through His Word as only He can to all who would read it (Isaiah 55:11).
Prayer for the Majority People
While the stories cannot really be told or details shared publicly, we should know that all over Malaysia there are Malays hearing about Jesus and the love of God. Malays are being healed of sicknesses, and small groups of Malay believers are gathering to worship. Even in the absence of details, we are urged to pray for this growing movement, this continuing and scattered sowing of the seed.
Here are some instances that will help stimulate and fuel prayer:
Praise God for His faithfulness to His children in time of need - especially when under fire.
Praise God for the testimony of this sister as she shares it with fellow believers - that they also might be stirred and challenged to be more intentional.
PRAY that God will continue to give grace to this sister each time she is called on to share, that through her the gospel will be shared clearly with boldness as it should, and that others will come to faith in Jesus!
In another part of the country, a worker writes... 'We have new threats on our lives. We just got a report from several of our (Malay) families that some of their neighbors have made threatening plans against us the next time we come to their village.'
· PRAY that those plans do not succeed.
Remember those Malay believers whose identities have been made public...the fellowship of believers who impacted by the August raid last year. There are threats on their lives, pressure from family and the authorities to revert to their former religion, and now tensions among them due to jealousy or suspicion.
Pray for a massive ingathering among the Malay.
PRAYING FOR MALAYSIA AND THE MALAY…A PEOPLE LOVED OF GOD
“Things always happen when we pray, especially when we pray in loving unity. (We) can hear God together and come to agreement. (We) can stand in the gap, ask forgiveness, bind and loose, and proclaim blessing.” John Dawson
Tehran, Iran: The ruling Islamic Regime of Iran is not only worried about the growth of Christianity inside the country, but is also concerned about the increase in tendency of Malays towards Christianity.
Following a recent conference focused on the Indo-Malay world of Southeast Asia, we sense the Holy Spirit freshly stimulating us to loving and united intercessory prayer
for the country of Malaysia and the Malay people.
· Praise the Lord there is more going on than any one of us knows ... thus we pray: ‘Your Kingdom come, Lord, all across Malaysia ... among every community, in every situation ... for Your glory!’
· Pray for an outpouring of grace upon every worker, every believer, every church community, and for an overflow of the love of God toward the unreached majority in the nation.
· Pray for an increasing, sovereign stirring of the Holy Spirit in the heart of every Malay, and breakthrough with millions opening to Jesus.
· Pray for God to raise up among the Malays those with an apostolic calling and gifting to reach their own people with the Gospel.
From Malay World Prayer Fellowship
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