Guest Editorial

After six decades as a democratic nation, many are pondering over the meaning and implications of our electoral processes and governance.

Nov 11, 2022


By Dato’ Bro Anthony Rogers FSC
After six decades as a democratic nation, many are pondering over the meaning and implications of our electoral processes and governance.

Our world has changed drastically. A whole new generation of young people have grown into adults with a face and voice of their own.

These fresh faces are people with rights and dignity of their own. They desire not silence but to raise their voices for the type of world they want for themselves, their families and their children.

It is the cry of anguish and despair of the young that provides a basic text for both a re-reading and re-interpretation of the new context of society.

But the marginalisation of these new faces in the political arena and their ‘incarceration’ by the vandals of materialistic globalisation are a crass reality.

Since the political tsunami of 2018, thinking Malaysians have begun to see the need to re-read the signs of the times in the light of revealed truths and the ongoing dialogue and discernment among all believers.
This could be the path to discover new forms of governance for the wellbeing of all Malaysians, even the whole human family, beginning with our neighbours most in need.

There has to be a shift from the all-absorbing frenzy of the election to an unwavering alliance with the next generation of young people. This vital change in perspective will open new doors for the emergence of just governance and a participative and fair democracy.

Such an evolving paradigm is deeply rooted in the universal scriptures of all our faith traditions. It opens up the path to restore our divine nature and allows us to focus on realigning human nurture, beginning with revamping our education system, which is in total disarray.

This first principle of Care must not change but adapt to the current context. We must seek new ways of applying it to our lives, and these have been developed as the social teaching of the Church over the centuries.

The principle of Care seeks to make a link between faith and life. In particular, it seeks the application of the Christian faith to the principles and norms — including the renewing of structures and the defining of approaches — to mould the nature of governance.

Christian perspective of the historical roots of governance
The struggle for a rediscovery of our historical roots recognises how crucial it is to restore the supremacy of the reign of God.

It requires a critical study of the history of governance in Christianity. The Christian perspective of governance is rooted in the narrative of Creation in Genesis, written by inspired authors during the crucial and painful period of the Exile from their land.

These authors wanted to draw their people’s attention to the ultimate source of the meaning of life that flows from the relationship between God, the human person, and the whole of creation. These sacred writers claimed that God is good and that the human person and the whole of creation are good.
The inherent sacredness and dignity of the human person is at the heart of God’s governance. If God becomes the centre again, the vocation of human beings is to become epicentres for the emergence of a new world based on God’s order.

Our inner beings — called to goodness that is gradually embedded in our psyche and conscience — are the foundation of good and just governance. This is the most precious gift God has bestowed on each member of humanity; it assures us that God will bring about “a new heaven and new earth” in and through each of us.

This process begins with our personal awareness and consciousness that we are gifts, and our responsibility is for the common good of all our sisters and brothers and of the whole of creation.

This gift of God, only when cherished and relished, will move us to share in freedom with others. It will move us to ensure a just and fair distribution of food for the hungry and the provision of homes for the homeless and of education and health services for all.

The essence and foundation of good governance is the truth of the goodness of God, to be realised in justice and love and in harmony with the whole of creation and rooted in our commitment to care for the earth.

The reign of God, who set the norms for the harmony of total creation, can only be realised if the human person at the apex of creation is internally governed by the norms of God. These norms have to be translated and transmitted to the people as just governance.

God’s norms for personal and social relationships stand in contrast to sin. Sin should be understood not just as the breaking of laws but as the rupture of the fundamental relationship that God has instituted into the workings of the human community and its relationship with other created beings and nature.

The whole historical process of the development of ancient Israel, medieval Christendom and modern Christianity has therefore to be seen from this perspective. This, for us, is the meaning of divine revelation.

God always speaks to us in the context of a changing world that is in need of constant restoration. This is the very core and essence of being a people faithful to God. The history of humanity becomes learning moments, to seek ways and means of being true to the vision of a cosmic harmony.

So now we prepare to cast our votes according to our options, based on our beliefs. Consider too the larger template for good governance and our ethical option to vote for persons of integrity, those who work for the common good, and for entities that promote good governance.

When our choice is finally confirmed on polling night, our responsibility is not over. We must make a firm commitment to continue living our democracy through our active and creative participation.

Democracy is not what happens at five-yearly elections, but what we do each day to keep alive our dreams and hope for a better Malaysia.

Total Comments:0