KUCHING, Dec 14 — The Association of Churches in Sarawak (ACS) has issued a pastoral letter for the 12th State Election to urge the people in Sarawak especially Christians to come out and exercise their voting rights.
Its chairman Archbishop Simon Poh said while ACS calls on all eligible Christian voters to vote, ACS does not endorse any candidates or political parties in this election.
“This is a call to Christians and all people in Sarawak to vote as this a moral duty to society and to cast the vote according to their conscience ‘before God’.
“ACS as a religious organisation does not endorse any candidates or political parties while exhorting all the people to vote as part of citizens’ responsibility and duty,” said Poh last night when explaining the pastoral letter.
The letter was undersigned by Poh and Bishop of the Anglican Church in Sarawak and Brunei Datuk Danald Jute, who is ACS deputy chairman.
Other signatories included two more Catholic Church bishops including Sibu Bishop Joseph Hii and Miri Bishop Richard Ng, Bishop Lau Hui Ming of Sarawak Chinese Annual Conference, Bishop Bonnie Sedau of Sarawak Iban Annual Conference, Pastor Agong Bina of Borneo Evangelical Church, Pastor Edmund M Liah of Seventh-day Adventist Church and Major Francis Ng of the Salvation Army.
Amongst others, the pastoral letter advised all Christians to make discernment before casting their votes by considering the political party and the integrity of the individual candidate on development, citizens’ rights and on freedom of religion, welfare and concern for the people of Sarawak.
“By casting our votes, we hold our government and candidates accountable to walk the talk; to fulfil promises made to the rakyat; to work for the common good and wellbeing of all; to defend religious freedom for various races and religions and to ensure mutual respect and acceptance, harmony and unity in diversity in Sarawak,” stated the pastoral letter.
It also said that in a democratic government, the freedom to elect leaders through voting is the right of each citizen.
“To vote means to stand up and be counted. God has entrusted to us this stewardship to work for the common good of all in Sarawak.” — Borneo Post