It was Malaysia Day yesterday, and I was off work. There was this Inter-church Malaysia Day Prayer Rally held in the Holy Seal church, which sits nicely on top of City Mall shopping centre. Interestingly, the sessions were all tri-lingual (Bahasa Malaysia, English and Mandarin, sometimes with Hakka and Cantonese thrown in), and the translators did a really wonderful job.
I always believe that the politicians could never be depended upon to lead Malaysia into true racial unity and harmony. It is the church who should show the way. Why not, look at the Malaysia Day gathering, and you see the true manifestation of 1Malaysia (if only the M group could come)... people of different races and languages coming together, celebrating their diversities and yet seeing each other as equals, expressing a common love for the country. Try finding that in PWTC Convention Hall.
That was Mr. Eugene, a constitutional lawyer who came to remind Sabahans of their rights on religious freedom and native land issues, as enshrined in the 20-point agreement, rather than the distorted version declared by the ruling government. His take-home message was 3S... Stand (on this land... don't migrate... hmmm), Steadfast (don't be cowed), Speak-out (make your voices heard).
There were many empty seats in the morning session. Too much intellectual stuffs maybe.
But the hall was filled to the brim at night!
The night began with a wonderful praise and worship session to set the temperature right.
Then there was our own Pastor Jerry giving the opening speech, and telling us that he was one of the lucky kids who stood on stage on the actual Malaysia Day in 1963, and getting a memorable coffee mug in return.
The young ones who would carry on the baton. By the way, 'young' means under-30s. I have passed my prime. Sigh.
The really cool stuff was a live tele-conferencing prayer with the group in Kuching over Skype. But the audio was a bit off (maybe coz of bad weather), made it sounded like Darth Vader was praying for Kota Kinabalu.
Ryan making new friends and being naughty.
Malaysia-flag bearers marching in.
There were visitors from many countries who bought their own flight tickets to come to Kota Kinabalu to share the joy and aspiration of the Malaysian church. Reminded us that the church is one big global family. When one member celebrates, the whole body rejoices with it; when one member suffers, the whole body cares for it. So Malaysian church, be assured the churches of the nations are looking out for you, even in the midst of persecution in this land.
Pastor Eddie Ma of Hong Kong received tokens of appreciation (a book on 'The Birth of Malaysia' and a T-shirt) on behalf of the visitors from the other nations.
I got a CD of instrumental praise music played using ethnic musical instruments, proudly made in Sabah, Malaysia.
That, was one memorable night in the history of Malaysia.
We attended the fund-raising dinner for the new SIB Likas (E) Fellowship Hall last night. As usual, the event was held at the Putera Ballroom in Bukit Padang.
The guest-of-honour was the mayor of Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. Gosh, I never knew the mayor is an SIB church member. And of course, our own beloved Pastor Jerry, the guy who fought tooth and nail for the right to use the word 'Allah'.
I was late for the dinner. There was the kids' karaoke, duet, Christian songs, Chinaman-style magic show (right down to the music)... but I was eating, so no photos from me. People say save the best for last, so I got some pics of the last presentation... Juwita Suwito!
Juwita what?! Never heard of the name before? Remember the Akademi Fantasia theme song? She was the original singer... plus a string of awards under her belt.
My friend Imelda said she can sing 'damn good'. Mel, here are some pics for you.
Hitting the high notes...
... even higher notes.
Izac enjoyed himself very much.
You shoot my photo, I shoot you also.
My camera is the latest model one. It's a Lego D1234... comes in a colourful package, extremely lightweight, easily dismantable and upgradable... and the best part is, it takes images of one's imagination. Hahaha...
Group photo of Pastor HengSie (of SIB Immanuel), Kelly and Chen-Li (visiting evangelists from China), and jet-setters uncle Say Hoe and auntie Sharon.
Mel and Kyi Kyi you guys left so early before I could take your photos. Thank you all for investing into the Kingdom.
Here's the latest development of the Fellowship Hall. Pastor said it should be done by March 2012.