I have had a few emails from my Christian friends, urging me to consider my voting options (and prerogative) very seriously.
I fully intend to.
After all, there has been too much bullying in the name of religion. In the International Herald Tribune, a few notable cases are documented:
The Christian husband of a Malaysian woman who died in December clashed with Islamic authorities who contended she had converted to Islam a week before her death and would be buried according to Muslim rites. A Malaysian court ordered the woman's body released for a Christian funeral after the conversion claim was retracted.
In another case, a 29-year-old woman who was born a Muslim but converted to Hinduism was ordered by Malaysian authorities to spend six months in an Islamic rehabilitation center, where she said officials tried to make her pray as a Muslim, wear a head scarf and eat beef, a sacrilege to Hindus.
The Malaysian government, meanwhile, recently stated non-Muslims cannot use the word "Allah," worrying Christians who use the term to refer to God in their Malay-language Bibles and other publications.
And last month, customs officers seized 32 Bibles from a Christian traveler, saying they were trying to determine whether the Bibles were imported for commercial purposes.
Christians in Malaysia have been largely apolitical.
While I firmly believe in the separation of church and state, I believe as citizens, Christians should exercise their right to choose their government by VOTING. Unfortunately, some subscribe to the notion of merely praying to God to deal with their political issues rather than researching and taking to the ballot boxes.
Others (as Teresa Kok pointed out) traditionally support BN because they "don't want to rock the boat". They live in fear of a recurrence of the May 13 racial riots. I find it amusing that Christians wax lyrical about "faith" but have so little of it.
That being said, I wouldn't endorse a political party with Christianity as its central theme anymore than I would a Muslim one, but in this case, I would vote for PAS if I had to. At least they're not as racist as they're made out to be.
This change involving the church is overdue.