Kuala Lumpur (Agenzia Fides) - "We exercised our democratic right of vote on May 9, 2018. Malaysia has a golden opportunity, the future lies in the hands of the people. We Catholic Bishops of Malaysia, propose a moment of prayer and thanksgiving for our beloved nation during the Pentecost Novena, between 12 and 20 May": says a message signed by the Bishops of Malaysia and sent to Agenzia Fides, the day after the political elections. For the first time in the history of the nation, the vote saw the victory of the opposition coalition, compared to the "National Front" that governed for 60 years (see Fides 11/5/2018).
"We are grateful for a matured electorate" the Bishops say, noting that, thanks to the commitment of the Election Commission officials and thousands of volunteers, the vote took place peacefully, in a transparent and almost incident-free manner.
The Bishops appreciate the effort to build "a new Malaysia" where "freedom and justice are guaranteed to all", where "everyone can live in peace and harmony without suspicion of one another as fellow citizens".
"Many people - the text notes - have expressed feelings of joy in being Malaysian first. This really is a grace of God given freely to everyone. This manifested itself even in the course of these elections. We have witnessed humility and the seeking of forgiveness for past mistakes. We have seen reconciliation offered and received and a love for peace and harmony".
Citing a passage from the Letter of John, "as long as we love one another, God will live in us and his love will be complete in us", (1 Jn 4:12), the Malaysian Episcopate notes: "We all need to continue praying for Malaysia, we must pray for healing and unity among all of us, let the Church also press the "Reset" button. Let us try to be inclusive. Let us try to be creative. Let us try to be builders of bridges. We want to pray for God to give blessings and prosperity to all Malaysians".
With this spirit, the Malaysian Church recommends all the communities scattered throughout the territory to offer a mass of thanksgiving, live an hour of adoration and prayer, include a special prayer intention for peace in the country. And encourages all citizens to personal commitment to peace and unity. "May the love of God and love for this nation, keep us united", concludes the message (PA) (Agenzia Fides, 16/5/2018)