A Christian In The Mist of Singapore General Election 2015

Singapore’s 17th parliamentary general election will be held on 11 September 2015.  Back in 2011 General Election, the People’s Action Party (PAP) won 80 out of 87 seats but only managed to gather 60% of the popular votes.  So how did a political party that win only 60 percent of the vote could get 80 out of 87 seats (92%)?

According to The Online Citizen (TOC), in a recent event, “SG50+ Conference” held on 2 July , Dr Fareed Zakaria asked Prime Minister of Singapore and Secretary General of People’s Action Party (PAP) how is it possible and whether such an unfair electorate system will change.

His answer was “That depends on how the electorate votes and how the votes are distributed.  You might ask in the western countries how a party which wins 30 percent of the vote can form the government.  It happens, In America not quite so extreme, but in Britain it just happened, it’s an electoral system; it’s a system which is meant to give the country a stable and effective government. It’s not meant to give a country a proportional representation Parliament. The purest proportional representation Parliament, I think it’s in Israel, and I am not sure whether they are totally happy with the system.”

So is it alright, since it is a common practice, to have a tweaked electoral system to ensure that a ruling political party can stay in power even if it does not reflect the public choice?

As a Christian, how should we respond?

“A false balance is an abomination to the LORD, But a just weight is His delight.” Proverbs 11:1

“Differing weights and differing measures, Both of them are abominable to the LORD.” Proverbs 20:10

“He has told you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you
But to do justice, to love kindness,And to walk humbly with your God?”
Micah 6:8

Should we just turn our eyes away and chuck it as “favor of the Lord” or “God’s will”, or should we make a stand against such unfairness and call it a “false balance”?

Does God need to resort to unjust methods to do His will? Is this the way God raise up kings and rulers in the Bible? That sound more like the devil!

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According to TOC (http://www.theonlinecitizen.com/2015/07/singapore-election-just-23-8-percent-of-votes-needed-to-form-government/):

Based on the electoral divisions in the 2011 general elections, even if People’s Action Party (PAP) received just 23.8% of the popular vote, the party can still retain a simple majority in parliament to form government (44 out of 87 contestable seats). This figure changes to 27.2% (49 out of 99 seats) if we include all Non-Constituency Members of Parliament (NCMPs) and Nominated Members of Parliament (NMPs).

With 27.2% of the popular vote, or support from a little over a quarter of Singaporeans, the PAP can pass any law it wants, even if the law affects everyone in Singapore.

Moreover, the PAP only needed 31.5% (66 out of 87 seats) of the popular vote to have the two-thirds parliamentary supermajority needed to make constitutional amendments. NCMPs and NMPs cannot vote on such issues.

Based on information from the Elections Department the number of electors in GE 2011 was 2,460,484. So, the minimum for 44 seats would be 584,644 (23.8%) votes and the minimum for 58 seats would be 774,323 (31.5%) votes.

Under the current electoral system and constituencies similar to those seen in GE 2011, a situation where the PAP loses power, what PAP politicians sometimes call a “freak election result” or even its two-third majority, is highly improbable. Singapore is more likely to see a PAP government that has lost the popular vote (less than 50% of total votes cast) but retains a parliamentary majority or even a two-thirds supermajority.

Talking about unfairness, this has to be top of the line.

So, how should we, as Christian, vote during the coming 2015 General Election? Should we be loyal and submit under PAP since they were the ruling party (Parliament was dissolved).  As a Christian should we even consider the opposition parties since they do not have track records like the ruling party?

As a Christian, we do not have to support any political party, be it ruling or oppositions.  We should support Singapore, a Singapore-under-God. 51,000 Christians came together to pray for Singapore on the 5 July 2015 during the Jubilee Day Of Prayer (JDOP).

jdopresized_KEN_2538Our Prime Minister also came to stand with us in prayer although he is not a Christian.  I felt we should submit under the government as instructed by God through His Word in the Bible.

Hebrew 13:17
“Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they keep watch over your souls as those who will give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with grief, for this would be unprofitable for you.

Roman 13:1-7
“Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God. Therefore whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves. For rulers are not a cause of fear for good behavior, but for evil. Do you want to have no fear of authority? Do what is good and you will have praise from the same; …”

However, I do not believe the “governing authority” here meant the “ruling political party”.  PAP cannot pass any law and implement it unless it already went through the Parliament even though they may have more than 90% of the seats.  They still have to bring it to the Parliament and both their fellow party members and the opposition parties will debate on it before it is fine tuned and pass out as a law.

So in this case, shouldn’t our “governing authority” be the Parliament instead?  If so, then our governing authority consist of both the ruling party and the opposition party with all the NCMPs and NMPs.

During the biblical days of the Roman empire when the above scriptures were written, Rome has already changed from a more democratic government to a one-man ruling emperor.  Therefore when Apostle Paul wrote about submitting to the authority, it is an authority dominated by a one-man monarchy system.

Since Singapore is a democratic country, we now have the privilege and responsibility of choosing the authority we wish to submit under.  As such we can choose one that is honest. righteous, fair, kind and serve it’s people.  However, there is no one political party in Singapore who are not self-seeking and are more party-minded than Singaporean-minded. Hence the reason why we as Christian should not line ourselves up with any political party in Singapore, at least not this time round.  Not only are they all party-minded, some even advocate changes that will harm the society or families contrary to the Biblical standards that God instituted.

Although Singapore is a circular country, there is freedom to believe and to worship God here.  The Singapore constitution allow us, to exercise freedom to believe in whatever religion we want to.  We have freedom to go to any church we wish and even evangelize when the opportunity arises to win souls for the Lord. The truth is, unless God intervene, Singapore will never become a Christian nation and the it’s law will not be based strictly on the biblical laws.  The best we can do, at this juncture, is to pray that Singapore will continue to be a free circular country so that there are freedom on the ground for others to come to know Christ.  We just have to do all the hard work and not rely on being spoon fed!

Another fact that we as Christian have to accept is that Singapore will always flow along with the western world policies trends , at least partial policy, whether we like it or not.  We are a more reserved society, therefore we are slower in following policies trends with more ground work to prepare for and a longer time for society acceptance. Meaning our human rights and freedom of speech will become better as time goes by.  We may not be like the United States or Europe countries but we are getting there at our own pace.

There goes the same for the gay rights and marriage in Singapore.  The repealing of Penal Code Section 377A will eventually be successful although we hope it will be delayed as far back as possible.  Like what Bishop T.D. Jake told his congregation on the Sunday after the Supreme Court’s marriage equality ruling,

“I’m not really as concerned about this as a lot of people are. I’m really not as concerned about it. I think that we should not lose our mind about the world being the world and the Church being the Church. This is not a news flash.”

Is it so hard to believe that the world is never going to become more moral or biblical based?  All we can do as Christian is to stand for what we believe even if it means persecution from the world and hope that our faith can somehow bring the revelation of the truth to the unbelieving public.

Truly, the best thing we can pray for is freedom.  Because even in the worst situation, if we have the freedom to speak God’s Word, we can still be used by God to influence individual mind.  Without freedom it will be a lot harder and riskier.

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How then should we Christian vote to ensure a fair play in the Parliament?

  • Vote with the consideration of the benefits of Singaporeans.  Vote for Singapore.  Consider what kind of Singapore we want in the future.  What type of Authority (Parliament) we want to submit to? A just, honorable and dedicated one or one that is one-sided, unchecked and not in touch with the common public.
  • Do not aligned ourselves with any political party.  They are all party-minded and will not think twice to lie, to hide the truth, bad-mouthing opponent or manipulate us to get our vote.  Aligning ourselves with them means we are alright and agreeable with their actions.  Rather we should aligned ourselves with God, the Almighty.
  • Do believe everything you hear. Ask God for discernment. A lot of promises and claims can be made for the sake of the election and after that it will be conveniently forgotten or ignored.  Mud throwing is also very common tactics too, but remember, he who throw mud may miss but his hand is already soiled.
  • Do not vote in fear.  Do not be afraid of changes.  In the world there are many countries whose ruling party changes often and yet their economy did not collapse, they are not bankrupted and there were no political unrest. Singapore is unique but we are not that unique. Our late Mr Lee Kuan Yew has put in place measures that ensure foreign and local policies cannot be altered by individual minister even if a different Government may emerge.  And as mentioned above, even if the ruling party only received 27.2% of favorable votes, they will still be able to form the Government.
  • Vote for future freedom.  Consider what type of parliament mixture will ensure more inclusive representations in Singapore.  Don’t forget that one day we may fall into the cracks of society in certain policies. During those time, we will wish that our voice can be heard and exceptions can be made for us.  There are many who are constantly falling into these cracks and if no one will speak out for them, there is no hope of any help.  Freedom of speech allow future God’s work to be done freely in a changing and degrading world.
  • God is in control.  So vote with your heart.  Do not vote for someone because that candidate is a Christian.  Many Christians are genuine but not capable enough to serve as an MP.  Do not vote because of their social standing in society.  We have a lot of examples of good profession MPs but of little use for the last 2 elections.

Although all constituencies are being contested, the PAP has already won even before the election.  Our PM can start writing his victory speech.  It is a matter of how many seats can they garnered this election.  Will they take back what they have lost to the Worker’s Party or will they lose even more to the oppositions.  It is a fact that even if the oppositions formed a coalition, they will not be able to form the Government.  A freak result is highly impossible.

Should we continue to put PAP on their toes so that they can serve the people better or should we just give them another comfortable 4 or 5 years? It all depends on you.

Pray, ask God for wisdom and do not cross the wrong box.

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Joel Low

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Global Leadership Summit, Myanmar 15 & 16 September 2015 Myanmar Convention Centre

YANGONThe Global Leadership Summit Myanmar 2015 with be held on  15 & 16 September 2015 at Myanmar Convention Centre.  A yearly event with numerous speakers from an international team of speakers including the founder Hill Hybels.  This is an event no Christians will want to miss.  Contact the GLS team in Myanmar to find out more.

Garrissa Survivor: ‘I Prayed, Make Them to Be Blind’

As students arrived in the early morning, it seemed like another ordinary school day. With shots beginning to fire around 7:00 a.m., students and teachers would quickly face one of the deadliest attacks on Kenyan soil.

Months have passed since gunmen from the jihadist group, al-Shabaab, stormed Kenya’s Garissa University college. The attack killed 147 people and injured more than 80.

The terrorists also took 700 students hostage during the siege, dividing Christians and Muslims. Four of the attackers were killed that day and five men were later arrested in connection with the attack.

A Survivor Speaks

Nineteen-year-old Cynthia Cheroitich attended Garissa University and tells a survival story that has gone viral around the world. After travelling for six hours by bus to meet CBN News’ Angela Zatopek, she was ready to speak about what happened that day.

“The men were dividing the Muslims and non-Muslims by making us recite the Koran,” Cheroitich told Zatopek.

As terror swept the University halls, the four gunmen began shooting students who couldn’t recite the Koran. Cheroitich ran to her room to alert her roommates and the girls hid under their beds.

“The men were yelling that the women were safe and they could come out. Everyone was confused because the women were then coming out and realized they lied…they just started shooting,” Cheroitich said.

Realizing the women weren’t safe, Cheroitch climbed in a small cupboard above her bed, but she accidently left her purse on the floor.

The men entered her dorm room and found her two roommates under their beds. When they saw the purse on the floor, they began asking where the third roommate was hiding. Cheroitich’s roommates did not reveal her hiding place and tragically are among the 147 who lost their lives that day.

Miracle and Forgiveness

Cheroitich covered her head with bags and papers, praying for a miracle from God.

“I was praying to God, ‘make them to be blind so they cannot see me,'” she said, remembering when one of the attackers opened the cabinet where she was hiding. “They could not see me when he opened the cupboard even though I had the bags on my head.”

She hid for three days and was forced to drink body lotion. Even so, she still suffered from severe dehydration.

Cheroitich remembered the friends and loved ones she lost that day and then Zatopek asked her a final question: “If you could say one thing to the men of al-Shabaab who did this to your friends that day, what would you say?”

“I would have to forgive them, because the Bible says forgive your enemies because they do not know what they are doing,” Cheroitich replied.

(Article fro CBN News by Angela Zatopek at http://www.cbn.com)

Pastors Facing Death Sentence: ‘We’re Not Afraid’

Two South Sudanese pastors possibly facing execution in Sudan said they are not afraid to die. They’ve been charged with “inciting organized groups” and “offending Islamic beliefs.”

Pastors Yat Michael and David Yein spoke with Sr. International Correspondent George Thomas by phone from their Khartoum jail cell.

Sudan Graphic_zpsmjuo4hhhMichael said he has suffered psychological intimidation and hasn’t talked to his family for two months. He was accused of spying when he was arrested last January.

“When they interviewed me, they asked me why I’m preaching here. I say, ‘I am preaching because this is my call. I am a pastor. I must speak the Word of God,'” Michael told Thomas.

“They say ‘No, you don’t need to preach the Word of God with a hidden agenda,'” he recalled. “I said, ‘No, I don’t have any hidden agenda.’ They accused me because I’m a spy here. They say like that.”

Yein said he’s not afraid because God chose him to suffer. He wants Christians to pray that their imprisonment will be for God’s glory, and that both pastors will be at peace with those who oppose them.

On trial since May 19, they’ve been officially charged with “inciting organized groups” and “offending Islamic beliefs.”  Sudanese law (sharia) requires them to be executed if they are convicted.

Both Christians–who are from South Sudan–say they had no hidden agenda while visiting Khartoum; they were only answering God’s call to share the Word with the people of Sudan.

In an exclusive CBN News interview, Senior International Correspondent George Thomas talked to the two pastors via telephone from their Khartoum prison cell.

Sudanese-PastorsYat Michael told Thomas while he has not suffered physical beating during his imprisonment, he has experienced psychological intimidation. Also, he said it has been two months since he’s been allowed to talk with his family.

Speaking mostly in Arabic, David Yein told Thomas he is “not afraid of anything” because “God chose me to suffer.”
He asks that Christians pray that his suffering will “be for the glory of God” in the prison.

You may watch and listen to each interview here. I’ve also provided a transcript of both interviews and a translation of Yein’s comments which were spoken in Arabic:


TRANSCRIPT:

Reverend Yat Michael: We are fine thanks be to God. We were being here for five to six months since we were arrested. David Yein Was arrested 14th of December up to today. And I was arrested on 11 January up to today.

George Thomas: Have they done anything to you, have they beaten you, have they tried to intimidate you?

Yat Michael: No. They were…it was just only a psychologically incitement because we were being separated from our families for two months without hearing them. That was a tough problem to us.

We came from South Sudan and because of the war in South Sudan we came here in Sudan and we just go to go do our ministry training in our church and then they came to me-especially myself– they arrest me in my house. I don’t know why they do that. When they interviewed me, they asked me why I’m preaching here. I say I am preaching because this is my call. I am a pastor. I must speak the Word of God. They say no, you don’t need to preach the Word of God with a hidden agenda. I said no, I don’t have any hidden agenda. They accused me because I’m a spy here. They say like that.

George Thomas: How are you doing inside the prison, how is your faith?

Yat Michael: Yeah, it is my destination. My faith, I don’t, I don’t even I don’t have a sense of patience 15:28 I must call on my faith. It is not a new thing to me. They just keep us for nothing. They just keep us in the prison for nothing. And they are terrible to us. We are staying in, for confinement without any crime that we commit.

Reverend David Yein:

George: Are you afraid that you could be killed for this?

David Yein: No, I am not afraid of anything….I am never afraid of anything because it is my love, it is my being, because I believe. God chose me to suffer.

(Arabic translated to English)

I’m not afraid from doing my ministry and my message I’m chosen by God. I serve him in any circumstances, be instant in season, out of season.

George Thomas: I’m sure you miss your wives a lot…

David Yein: I missed her. We can’t be together because there is a legal restriction, but she sees me from the window, and she is sure that I’m here. I’m really here with a good condition, but I’m waiting to be outside.

George Thomas: Will you still continue to preach The Gospel?

David Yein: I preach and serve and I’m sending the message of the gospel to the whole world as the lord said: “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:  Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.”

George Thomas: Have you had a chance to preach The Gospel in prison to other people?

David Yein: We have a church in the prison and we pray with the prisoners and the sentenced and the accused people.

George Thomas: Pastor, how can we pray for you, how can we pray for you and the other brother?

David Yein: We want you to pray that this test be for the glory of God in this place… and for us to be in peace with our people and the ones who are against us.

 

 

(Article from CBN News by Gary Lane at http://www.cbn.com)

Joe Biden Says Bible Believing Christians Violate LGBT Rights By Simply Existing

Statement by the Vice President on the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia

“For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.” Romans 1:26,27 (KJV)

Vice President Joe Biden say today that the rights of the LGBT people are violated by “religious condemnation”. He is directly referring to Bible verses like the one posted at the top of this article. The Progressive Liberals are well aware that it is God, speaking by the Holy Spirit through the Bible, that condemns homosexuality in all it’s many forms. According to Joe Biden, the American Bible believing Christian who takes the Bible literally, is violating the “rights” of the LGBT by trusting in God’s word. And this is why old-fashioned preaching will soon be classified as a “hate crime”. Because Liberals can’t stand it. Biden is also saying that the rights of the Christian are inferior to the rights of the LGBT individual.

joe-biden-vice-president-remarks-international-day-against-homophobia

Here is the full transcript of his remarks:

My father taught me the simple notion that everyone, everywhere is entitled to be treated with dignity and respect. When it comes to LGBT people, that simple proposition has been painfully difficult to accomplish over the years. But in the last decade, thanks to the astounding bravery of the LGBT community and those who have championed their cause, the United States has made remarkable progress toward the ultimate goal of equality in law and in life. Our progress remains incomplete, but the momentum has shifted in the right direction.

Progress has also been made in many places around the world. But in too many places, life for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals is actually getting worse. In too many places, LGBT community members face violence with impunity, mistreatment by police, the denial of healthcare, or religious condemnation and social isolation.

The best mechanism to confront this hatred is to speak up in favor of universal human rights. Supportive voices must be heard. Today and every day, let us continue to defend the rights of LGBT people, whether from nearby cities or far-off villages. We cannot rest until everyone receives the dignity, respect, and equal treatment under the law that all people deserve. source

Instead of “respecting universal human rights”, the Bible says that homosexuality is an abomination that needs to be repented of. Jesus Christ went to the cross to redeem the homosexual, that’s true. But He did not go to the cross to preserve homosexuality. He came to abolish that, and all sin.

There is no such thing as same-sex marriage, anymore than say a man marrying his dog would constitute a wedding. Sleeping in your garage does not make you a car. There is not one example in the Bible of God supporting, at any time, anything having to do with homosexuality. Churches that perform gay marriage ceremonies do it completely outside the blessing of God, and indeed bring down the wrath of God. The mark of Ichabod gets carved into the doorposts of every church that supports the LGBT movement.

Obama’s America, with it’s sky-high abortion rates, free-flowing 24 x 7 gambling, legalized pot, rampant drug and alcohol abuse, and now as the champion of the LGBT Movement, is rapidly becoming everything that the Bible says God hates.

Just the other day I was verbally assaulted and attacked by a vicious lesbian who said that “had no right” to my beliefs, and that this website was “hate speech”. Kinda funny, though, that she said this while all the while demanding that I respect her “right” to be gay. What about my right to believe and follow the Bible? Apparently, I am not entitled to my rights. And this is exactly why Biden’s remarks today should be taken very seriously. As we have always told you and will continue to tell you, the LGBT is not interested in “tolerance”. They don’t want “acceptance”. What they want is complete and total domination, which is exactly what Obama and his minions are giving them.

“Woe unto them that call evil good…”

(Article from Now The End Begins by at http://www.nowtheendbegins.com/blog/?p=33175)

Nun: ‘Islam Is ISIS. Whoever Says Otherwise Is a Liar’

WASHINGTON — The Islamic terror group ISIS is leaving a trail of destruction across large parts of Syria and Iraq with a specific target in their crosshairs.

Hundreds of thousands of Christians have been displaced from their homes and countless others have been murdered or enslaved by the jihadist army, with no end in sight.

Sister Hatune Dogan has been on the ground and witnessed the devastation of these ancient Christian communities. She’s listened to survivors tell how Christians and Yazidi women are being sold into sex slavery.

“They choose the most beautiful one, even if they have a small child, and they sell these women, these ladies to each other. They don’t sell to another religion — only Sunni Muslim,” Dogan said.

nun isis“There have been 12,000 kidnapped at the hands of ISIS – Yazidi alone. What is going on there, what I was hearing, is the highest barbarism on earth in the history until today,” she added.

Her foundation helps the poor and persecuted in 35 countries, providing them with food, clothing, medicine and shelter.

She travels constantly with a special focus in the Muslim world.

“I’m not coming here for a holiday. I’m coming here to bring a voice to the voiceless so that the world can hear their voice. They don’t have a voice. I am the channel for them. That is my mission,” Dogan declared.

Sister Dogan is no stranger to Islamic persecution. As a young girl, threats from local Muslims forced her family to leave their home in Turkey.

They relocated to Germany, where she operates her foundation and sounds the alarm about the gathering Islamic storm.

“The mission of (Abu Bakr) Baghdadi, of ISIS, is to convert the world completely to the Islamic religion and bring them to Dar Al Salaam, as they call it. And Islam is not peace, please. Whoever says ISIS has no connection to Islam or something like this is, he’s a liar. ISIS is Islam; Islam is ISIS,” Dogan explained.

She’s disappointed by what she calls a weak reaction from the West.

“We know that in Islam, there is no democracy. Islam and democracy are opposite, like black and white. And I hope America will understand. America today has the power that they can stop this disaster on the earth, with other Western countries,” she argued.

As for Sister Dogan, she says she’ll keep calling attention to the plight of followers of Jesus around the world whether the West wants to hear it or not.

(Article from CBN News by Erick Stakelbeck at http://www.cbn.com)