Sunday, 27 September 2015

Handshake - Acceptance and Humility

"Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin,
it would be better for him if a great millstone
were put around his neck
and he were thrown into the sea.
If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off.
And if your foot causes you to sin, cut if off.
And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out."

MARK 9 : 42 - 48

26th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Yesterday, on a Saturday as I drove towards home, I reflected on what I will share in my blog today. I was enlightened by the idea of a handshake. How many of us reflect on why we shake another person's hand? What is the idea behind having our hands shaken, offering our hands to the other to be touched and held?

The idea of we are all "flesh and bones" came to mind. In a handshake, I acknowledge that the other person is as the same as myself; we have our sad stories and broken dreams, we have our joys and good news, we have different but rather similar stories from the past to share, we have dreams and hopes.

In offering my hand, I acknowledge my need to be touched; we are all humans, we are not solitary beings living alone. We seek communion with others. In giving my hand to the other in a handshake, I learn humility and I learn how to let the other accept me with all my strengths and limitations.

In shaking the other person's hand, I strive to accept the other for who he/she is; not judging the person.

You know, we have a great God. I am so blessed to have found life in Jesus Christ and his commandments give me great Joy. Despite the struggle in living an extraordinary, sometimes friends say I am weird, I find great joy in being able to be there, just be there, witnessing for the youths and the poor. I am delighted, though I gain only insults and hatred, I am happy to speak out loud for the protection of the environment, for the prevention of exploiting education for the sake of money and for good governance of society.

The precepts of the LORD are right,
rejoicing the heart.
The command of the LORD is clear,
enlightening the eye.
- Psalms 19 : 9
Humans are the greatest weapon of destruction, coming from Pope Francis' speech in America, and I recall those in Malaysia living in haze.

An annual problem that I belief has been happening for decades long, yet no end to the problem, not even the slightest sign of striving to reduce (not terminate) the annual haze; either on the part of Malaysia or Indonesia or where ever the haze originates from. My question to all of us is, "Is this what we call PROGRESS? Is this what we mean by more MONEY?"
I see Malaysians going about without face mask, breathing in all the polluted air and I can only think that inside the body, living cells are dying, and worst still, cancer cells may be accumulated annually due to haze.

What a quality of life is this? A bad quality!
If you are concern for the haze situation, blame not only the government, blame yourself too!
Have you stop buying products coming from companies causing the haze? If you are a employer/business person, even when there are cheap products/resources from Indonesia (if haze is coming solely from Indonesia) are you still buying from Indonesia? If you are affected by haze, are you still contributing to the haze by burning petrol from your vehicles, burning joss sticks and joss papers?
Remember, if you do not want to be a small solution to the haze problem, then why should you demand a great solution from those who govern you?
Mooncakes that are in this style...New to me:)
These mooncakes are in fact expensive; one cost about $5.80. I prevented myself from buying them, but last week I decided to just buy two to try. To be honest they are not bad at all, but find it hard to agree that these delicacies can be called 'mooncakes'!??!!
I was recently discussing with another, whether to accept the offered housing property or to decline. I am more keen to decline, then to accept the housing property. Because, if this housing property will lead me towards a sinful life, then I rather give it up! If the property will make me greedy for rental money, make me proud so I can boast to people, make me selfish to I can stay alone and shut myself up from the rest of the world....Then I rather go on living in the true spirit of Franciscan Holy Poverty.
This also make me recall, that in Malaysia for example, people become greedy when it comes to money. I have had knowledge that people will demand "market price" rental rate, even when the market price is supposed to be for a well kept property, furnished and maintained. I have seen unscrupulous land lords who demand good rent without providing even the basic necessity of a well maintained property.
How can we live happily, joyfully and healthily...Knowing that there are others who have to pay high rents, for a property condition that is either average or below average? How can humanity be so cruel to demand market price rate, when others are suffering due to low paying job, due to their inability to get good jobs (though not the fault of their own...that is why I always demand schools to look after the poor, those who cannot afford to pay for a better education)?
Will you lose much, to look after your brothers and sisters out there, those who are poor?
Will you lose much to give an honest rent price to another?
Will you lose anything to look after your environment so that all of us can feel the healthy sun raze, breath good air quality, listen to the chirping of the birds in the sky? 
Year of Consecrated Life - I must add, in the recent past, religious brothers and sisters are also to be blamed for the indirect contribution to the destruction of the environment. Many had sold off aches of green lands to gain good market price, to companies. Many good and prime lands are now sadly turned into concrete monsters; shopping malls, apartments and office buildings.
We as Church, are so slow to trust in God and so timid in our response to take great risk for the Glory of God and Humanity.

Sunday, 20 September 2015

Is passion good? Or is it evil?

Where jealousy and selfish ambition exist,
there is disorder and every foul practice.
But the wisdom from above is first of all pure,
then peaceable, gentle, compliant,
full of mercy and good fruits,
without inconstancy or insincerity.
And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace
for those who cultivate peace.

Where do the wars
and where do the conflicts among you come from?
Is it not from your passions
that make war within your members?

The Book of James 3 : 16 - 4 : 1

25th Sunday in Ordinary Time

I came across the word PASSION in the second reading from St James, I wondered is it wrong then to work passionately? Is having passion in our duty wrong? In Latin the word passion means "suffer", as in the passion of Christ.

The passion found in the book of James speaks about PLEASURE...James is telling the community that having pleasure can be dangerous to relationships; pleasure when not well look at can lead to arguments, anger, dissent, false satisfactions.

I think many of us, myself included, have so often fall into the trap of pleasure. Pleasure is different from pure joy, don't get me wrong. Pleasure, to seek pleasure from status, from arguments, from trying to be envious of what others have, when we seek pleasure by spending money, taking drugs to have pleasure, rejoicing in the mistakes others do - these are not good forms of pleasure. Remember, James is not outlawing pleasure....But, we are reminded to PRAY first before we act. Instead of getting excited, over reacting, we are called to calm down first, pray, have a clear mind and then decide on the action that we are about to take.

Making decisions when we are high on pleasure, high on self righteousness, can be harmful. In each moment, when we find ourselves on a pleasure adrenaline, let us remember to calm ourselves down with prayer to God so that the action we take will be inline with God's plan and the result of our action is one marked by peace, purity, compliant with the situation, merciful, sincere and constancy.

It is not easy, very often I find myself reacting, taking action when my mind and heart is high on pleasure - anger and disappointment, excitement. Many of us are, we act on the situation rather then reminding ourselves to first calm down with a word of Prayer to God.

I recently came back from a trip with two of my best friends from school, a remarkable trip. Yes, there where arguments and myself and one of my friends, tend to argue; we must be pleasure seeking persons I think? My friend is one that enjoys reacting to situations, not having a clear mind. Myself, I tend to over think situations and react against my friend's dissatisfaction.

I guess that is what true friendships are all about, to respect and love one another for what we are. To remain friends despite the hardships is a true test to a good friendship.

Year of Consecrated Life
I think what I like us, religious, to think about in the coming week is "GOSSIP". Pope Francis has very often, annually in fact, brought up the dangers of gossip.

Not all religious, but sadly a good number of religious, just like any of us...we tend to gossip. We enjoy picking on the mistakes and strengths of others, we talk at table. Sadly, what is gossiped at table very often, sadly in fact, influences the judgement of the religious against another.

I raise the issue of gossip up, because in the selection of new candidates to enter a particular Order or Seminary we look for the 'PERFECT' person. We look for one who fits many, if not all, the set criteria; age, education, employment, mental status, church activity, sacraments received. Even if a person fits all those criteria the sad reality is that the comments made by others, even when they are false and unforgiving, influences the results of the selection of the candidate.

I strongly believe the selection of new candidate is unforgiving, harsh, influenced by gossips. To listen to gossips, judgements made by others, can be good only when those gossips are studied upon, while taking the great consideration that God calls sinners, the imperfect, to serve Him too. We who are given the task of selecting candidates to enter Consecrated Life must have the courage to pray, to trust in God and to be as merciful as the Father.

That is why I am not surprised that the Pope constantly reminds us of the dangers of gossip and has called that 2016 be a Holy Year of Mercy. We need it, the church needs it if we are to do something great and good for God. Perhaps, it is the gossips and the unforgiving attitude of priests and religious that have caused many people to be turned away from entering Consecrated Life and have kept others from even bothering to explore Consecrated Life.

Friday, 4 September 2015

Fate of Religious Vocations, dying?

"Serve God with fervor, to fulfill faithfully all the duties of our state, to work every day to detach our heart from creatures in order to give it to Jesus ad Mary, to open it to all the movements of grace."
- Saint Champagnat

(Saint Marcellin Champagnat in bringing the Love of God through education)
I have friends who, in the past, have asked me to write books on my experience with the issue surrounding the Vocations of religious brothers and sisters in the Roman Catholic Church. To me, I don't think it is my time to start writing books.
Vocation comes from the Latin word vocare, meaning "to call, to invoke, to name"
A religious men is called a "Brother"
A religious women is called a "Sister"
A religious in the Catholic Church is anyone publicly professing, or sometimes privately professing, the Vows of Celibacy, Poverty and Chastity.
They do not marry, own nothing in excess, usually living in a community with other Brothers and Sisters.
In today's condition many religious men and women either work in institutions related to their Order or in other fields related to their founders (teaching, nursing, caring for the aged...)
The issue of the decline in Vocations to the Religious Life, in my firm opinion is not the fault of the Church nor is it the fault of God. Believe it or not, very often the decline in the number of religious men and women was and continues to be the fault of the very person living the life of a religious. In my own personal journey with men and women of faith I have seen, and sadly, perhaps even been mentally/emotionally hurt, by the very cloudy faith lived by religious men and women.
I think where religious had gone wrong is in these areas:
  1.  "Many have given up!" - Fr Gerard of the Penang Diocese, told me in person that, for example the De La Salle Brothers have given up hope. I am glad he boldly admitted this to me, because I knew, my heart told me, that the Brothers have given up.
  2.  "People today have books, they can read about our life style and live it by themselves"...This was shared to me by a Capuchin Brother Alan, who is now dead. May he rest in peace.
  3. Lack of hospitality, vibrant faith, courageous action - Many leaders of religious Orders (we use to call them Superiors, these days some Orders adopt a more down to each titles such as 'Community Leader') are very cold. Just recently, this year, I called an Infant Jesus Sister in a Convent at Bukit Nanas and instead of thanking me for calling, she asked me coldly, "who are you?" The best example I can give is Bro Ulrick who was a man of simple Faith; doing his work, believing that his work is important. This man, Bro Ulrick, touched many lives but converted a few; that is Faith, to shine like the stars in the night sky.
  4. Stuck in the past - I feel many sisters and brothers are stuck in the past history. I feel sad many historical buildings have been mismanaged due to the decline in numbers; many properties on green prominent lands were sold away as if those buildings meant nothing or those land cannot be use for something more purposeful. Many Brothers and Sisters are stuck in the past, not courageous enough to move forward by allowing either the Laity or new Orders to come make use of their properties. Many declining Vocations allow themselves to continue to rot and fade away, leaving only their names on plaques hoping that generations to come will remember them.
  5. Lack of Faith, lack of Zeal- I am sure you will not be surprised to hear that a good number, if not all, religious men and women discourage new members to the order from living a solid Catholic life style. I myself were told not to wear the habit, except perhaps during prayer. Many young members have felt betrayed when they were not even encouraged to pray, to fast, to practice devotions and to carry out their work publicly. Many religious due to their declining numbers fear that if they continue to do what they do, they will be discarded by the public, they will not be appreciated by the public.
For me, like the many founders of Orders, our call to live a religious life begins way before a person publicly declares his/her desire to belong to a particular Order (Order means a way of life according to the constitution of each religious group of brothers/sisters). I think it was very right for the Church to call upon Religious to look into the Spirit of their Founders and live a religious life in line with that of the founders in the context of the present. Even the current Pope Francis have called upon the church to do away with dead observances, give away those ill habits (not hospitable, discouraging faith...), do away with gossips, but be JOYFUL witnesses of the Gospel in the service of the Poor.

I think what is vital, if dying religious orders are to survive well into the future, even if it means taking a different form, is to have COURAGE in our FAITHFUL GOD. God isn't dead! God is alive! And I can see many men and women willing to commit themselves to God but are not given the proper channels or taught the proper way.

I remind our Priests, my priests your role is to sanctity the holy people of God. Priests, are you sanctifying or condemning the people of God? I remind our Priests that many who are officially Saints today, once first professed their Vows through Priests even before their Order/way of life was 'officially recognized' by the Vatican.
In this Year of Consecrated Life, which ends in February 2016, we still have sometime to look into our lives as Religious and the laity has a role to play too.
The Laity should in reality have done these:
  • THANK a religious men or women, even if you know no one, write to them using the Church Directory available online.
  • Share your thoughts on the need of religious in the Church - again write to them!
  • Share your experience that you may have had with a religious, even if it is a bad experience - again write to them!
  •  Read the lives of the many Saintly founders of Orders - they are available online.

Little Brothers of Mary (Marist Brothers)
Dominican Sisters Mother of the Eucharist (Revived new order, growing vibrantly)
Franciscan Sisters of the Sorrowful Mother (Growing order, with new members)

De La Salle Brothers
Goodness starts with you and me....Just like the Saints and many good people in the past. We do not need to wait for a directive order from Rome or the Bishop to tell us to work for the good of others, or to live a religious life. Even Pope Francis have said we need not wait for a miraculous apparition to happen in order to be jolted to do more for the Church and for God.
If you feel called, nurture that call from God with prayer, discernment and good reading. If you feel called by God to do something good but out of fashion, do it! Like what the Singapore Roman Catholic Church have said, the laity are the future of the Church. This is right! But, sadly, I believe we still need men and women of deep faith willing to live a life in total union with God's Plan.
I also like to reiterate that the Church is still in need of religious men and women, men and women who are willing to give totally their lives to God. Giving their lives to God in the service of humanity and in the service of the Gospel. There is a difference being an ordinary Catholic, from that of a married Catholic, single Catholic, consecrated Catholic. Many have mixed it up by saying, "I am also called by God"...Yes, we are all called, but each call is unique. 

Sunday, 30 August 2015

Cleaning it all Away

“From within people, from their hearts,
come evil thoughts, unchastity, theft, murder,
adultery, greed, malice, deceit,
licentiousness, envy, blasphemy, arrogance, folly.
All these evils come from within and they defile.”
MARK 7: 21-23
22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time
How appropriate that the Gospel coincides much with what I have been doing lately; tidying up my things, getting ready to move on towards the next chapter of my life. Personally, I am a clean, tidy and specific person. Many find me calculative, not too easy going.
I enjoy keeping the little that I have tidy and neat. I am not much of a collector or a sentimental person.
(My collection of things from old pictures, certs and ceremonial booklets.)
As I went through the little that I have, I came across old pictures and ceremonial booklets that brought back many sweet and also some painful memories. What that was not important I discarded; I deem what is not important as things that I do not often use or things that will not benefit me in anyway in the future.
My spring clean also allowed me to wipe off dust that have collected over the years.
A point to take in, especially those involved in Catholic Education, I am glad to announce that Bishop Francis has acknowledged receiving my report documents concerning schools in Malaysia. He pointed out that he has his focus on the "contents" of the report. I only received the letter last week through another person, due to my absence, and the letter dates 3rd Aug 2015.
(Bishop Francis, I am happy that he always send me a letter.)
This 22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time, the liturgy invites us to focus on what is essential. Many people worry about what is going on around them, rather than looking at what is going on within themselves. It is not so much about what others are doing to us, but rather the manner we are reacting towards the jolts others put on us. It is not what out there that can distort our minds and hearts, but rather to see that our hearts and mind stay firm, not disturbed by any negative influence.
This call us to clean up our insides on a daily basis, making sure that our thoughts, our feelings, our emotions...Are not cluttered with the non-essentials, but only have those few that are important for a well lived life.
So keep your eyes on what is happening within you, inside you, daily. For us Catholics we call this the Examination of Conscience that many Catholics do on a daily basis, usually before going to bed.

(BERSIH 4.0 rally going on in Kuala Lumpur.)
Some thoughts on BERSIH 4.0 that is happening as I write this blog. Honestly, I do admire the effort Malaysians are demonstrating. I see this willingness of ordinary Malaysians to be part of the picture for change, to take part in BERSIH 4.0, as a sign of Hope for the future of Malaysia, it indicates the on-going change for the better in many Malaysians.
I want to make all of us aware, that like what the Gospel this Sunday speaks of, real change takes place WITHIN. A real change must be a change that comes from the personal commitment of each and every person. I hope that BERSHI 4.0 organizers and participants remember that the change they are asking for is a change of CULTURE; that means many are asking for a change in system, a change for more transparency, a change demanding greater justice....I hope those in BERSIH 4.0 remember that calling Najib to step down and demanding a new political system is only the tip of the iceberg - the real change must be the change at the bottom of the iceberg.
If we want a real, fresh and lasting change it is peoples' hearts that must change, peoples' minds that must change. Are we so certain that the next person in line is any better than Najib? Let us be mindful at the end of the day we are all humans, and we do have our limitations (just maybe Najib has far too many limitations/mistakes?). It is you and me, all of us, that must change before we can be certain that what is happening now under Najib does not happen again.
Perhaps, for those who are not satisfied with Najib and the current political system, let us vote against them during the next election.

Sunday, 23 August 2015

Down Time

Jesus then said to the Twelve, “Do you also want to leave?”

JOHN 6: 67

21st SUNDAY in Ordinary Time
Gospel from John 6: 60-69

Last week, yes on a Friday, I asked students what does the word 'august' mean? Many claimed that august is the "eight month of the year". Very well, at least they got that right. I asked them again, what is the meaning of august? No one could answer.

August in English can mean 'venerable, well thought of'....While in Latin, it is the name of Augustus - the first Roman Emperor.

The students asked me, "do we have to know all these?"

A very important question for me, I told them yes! It is general knowledge. As a facilitator in education, I assist the education of a person; to assist means to help others to open their horizons to discover and accept new knowledge. I do not believe just because my students come into my Biology, Chemistry or Science classes they must only be immersed in what is in the book.

What is in the book is dead, knowledge is alive! Knowledge must and can be discovered each day.

Jesus today also taught his disciples very hard topics. The theological topics Jesus disclosed to his audience was so plain and direct that many murmured among themselves, “This saying is hard; who can accept it?”

Jesus upon over hearing those murmurings challenged them, "Does this shock you?" Many ended up leaving him, going back to their former lives. Jesus placed the 12 Apostles, those closest to him, and also challenged them with this question, "Do YOU also want to leave?"

A very relevant question in deed. A question such as this is ought to be asked when we are having our down times; moment of trouble, grieve, lost. It is only at moments such as these, where another part of our selves become sharpened; it is tested. When we have nothing to own, nothing to have, nothing to boast...This question "Do YOU also want to leave?" Becomes so relevant and becomes so much harder to answer.

As a Student Development Coordinator of schools many see my role as too superficial, too easy. I receive names from teachers about troubled students, then I go about requesting that they see me for a chat in my room. I walk about the schools speaking with students, encouraging them with simple words. Teachers see this as an easy job!

Let me tell you, to touch a mind, a heart, and to truly educate a person is not done by great works and words. A true educator can educate even when he or she does not need to say anything or do anything. Education is about the dignity of every child, to equip every child with the capability to learn, to discover and to make choices.

I leave you with this quotation by St Leonie:

" I ask you to put your whole hearts into your duties as classroom teachers, and to carry this out for the love of God.  Have patience, know how to await God’s moment. You must be careful to be deeply united to Our Lord. This is the only way in which you will do something good."

St Leonie - Pray for us.

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Listen - DO

Last weekend the Roman Catholic Church rejoices over the reality that, in Truth of Faith, the Virgin Mary was brought up to heaven body and soul.

For us who have studied church history, we do come across a time in history when the event called the 'cult of the Virgin Mary' was occurring. To me personally, I wasn't attracted to study this cult deeper as I have a healthy Love and Devotion towards the Virgin Mary. I am not sure why Protestants find it disturbing to look at the wonderful person of Mary.

Like many great Saints, I find in Mary a great source of help and support when it comes to building my determination to do what God is asking of me to do. For my life as a religious Franciscan, it is not easy to walk into the world with my particularly religious way of dressing, my cross on my clothes, my confidence when it comes to carrying out tasks in schools, praying with students, speaking with students (while ensuring my conversation is inclusive and wide scope).

Such a life, as mine, lived by Faith does require much graces from God; the awareness of God's Grace is renewed each day in Prayer. Yes, God constantly provides the faithful with Graces even when it is not asked for, because God is a faithful God who looks after us and gives us anything that we need.

God does not provide us, only upon us asking Him.

I see in Mary that additional companion on my journey of lived Faith. A Faith that is little yet so contradictory in our world; not many believe in the wellness of life, in the need to protect married, in the need to love, in the need to rest at least on a Sunday. It is occasions such as these, when the entire world is against us, that Mother Mary reminds me to remain in Jesus Christ. With Mary, I move on despite the dangers I face, the doubts I experience as I enter the school where I minister to, the accusations aimed at me...

Looking to Mary reminds me that she too went through huge obstacles just to embody the very message of God. Mary never gave up, so too I must not give up! Even at the cross, where Jesus her son died on, Mary remained constant in standing by Jesus and the message Jesus had.

Mary is not a mere intercessor, but she is a catalyst to countless of Saints and people of Faith till today. A catalyst to live a life of Joy as we witness to the way of Jesus Christ! As we embody the message of Jesus!

Sunday, 9 August 2015

It is Unclear

The Jews murmured about Jesus because he said,
“I am the bread that came down from heaven, ”...
JOHN 6: 41
19th Sunday in Ordinary Time
The act of murmuring, is basically an act of complaining. If we look at the meaning of murmur, to murmur means to babel unclear words....a murmuring of words. To murmur, to complain, is about plainly making sound.
That is why Jesus warns us in today's Gospel that such attitude of complaining, or murmuring, will not bring us any good; murmuring will not bring us salvation. It is only by and with Faith in Jesus Christ that we are saved.
Today, I thought about the many qualities of humanity. Many of us possess good qualities, but we also, including myself, have at least a few, if not many, BAD qualities. In my maturing years I realized one weakness many of us have is murmuring; many adults, even those in advance age, love to make empty words, love to complain, yes to gossip.
Many of us enjoy, we indulge, in talk and talk and talk, not giving time to listen to the other. Talk and talk without giving time to have a reverential respect for the other, to acknowledge that God created the other and love the other just as must as our selves.
In respect of the other I have never shared in deep detail about certain experiences I have had in the past. Why? Because people do not listen, many of us only hear the another speaks to us. In speaking many of us are only keen to get more information so that we can share with others; this is why the Pope says gossiping is sin! Instead of listening with reverence we are judging others. When we spread what we listened to others, this is also an act of judgement because we allow others to judge the person who first spoke to us.
Gossiping is sin because instead of assisting the person speaking, we are only becoming empty loud speakers!
To date I tend not to share with others my experience of:
1) The Devil who held me to my bed in my cell (room of the monastery) not allowing me to move for a few seconds.
2) A few days after my grandmother's burial I smelt her medicated ointment at night in my room.
3) The call of God to religious consecration
4) My ability to sense sin and sense God everyday
When I share such mysterious, out of the world, events such as the above the first response I will get is always a judgement. In today's Gospel, Jesus also told the Jews an absurd, very stupid, very alien, statement. Jesus claims that he is the bread that has come down from heaven.
Next time when a stranger shares an absurd story or reality of his/her life, just LISTEN with reverence and respect. If what the stranger says is a lie, that lie will never come to fruition. Yet, if what the stranger says is true, even when if it is true in terms of Faith, then it benefits both YOU and the stranger.
Let us murmur less....Listen with Faith more. Learn to accept each other....Judge less.
'So be imitators of God, as beloved children, and live in love,
as Christ loved us and handed himself over for us
as a sacrificial offering to God for a fragrant aroma.'
Ephesians 5: 1-2

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Mr. Najib, Harriett Thomas and Malaysians

"Brother Kenneth, what do you think about 1MDB?" Asked my friends when I arrived in Malaysia.

My response was one that hurt them to the core, to their very conscience, because being my straight and direct self I responded, " Aren't you, and many Malaysians, like Mr Najib Razak? Aren't you all exactly the same as Mr Najib Razak?"

I recalled, how Harriett Thomas used her dirty tricks to wrongly dismiss a teacher, and I questioned myself, "aren't Harriett Thomas the same as Mr Najib? Harriet used dirty tricks to remove her teacher who has an honest opinion, but wasn't her critic?"

So aren't Malaysians like Mr Najib Razak? YES! Many Malaysians are like him!

I chose to write today about 1MDB, because the shuffling of Mr Najib's cabinet effects the Ministry of Education in Malaysia. I can only hope the new Deputy Minister does not create any mess with the education system currently in placed, but help to improve the education system.

In what way is Australia different? Yes, Australia has our whole lot of rubbish, just like any politics we have our rubbish. I am sure this year itself, Mr Abbott's cabinet wanted him down? Then we had the issue of "paying" boat smugglers to turn out of Australian waters, and send the illegal boat people elsewhere.

I think, in my opinion, unlike Malaysia, there is some degree of transparency in Australia. Australians on the whole can criticise each other, but at the end of the day they respect each other. In my experience, politics in Australia is always opened for debate. Ministers never try to go over board to cover up their mess, while some no doubt does, but on a minimal scale. There is a respectable degree of accountability among Australian politicians, and they never fear to say "SORRY".

With Malaysia, I think many of you and the whole world have seen and heard it all. What do Malaysian politicians, and Malaysians in general do when they come face-to-face with their own evil? This is what many Malaysians do:

**They go into DENIAL, then they CONDEMN their 'critics' (those who honestly bring the matter to the table), finally they CREATE STORIES to make themselves look innocent....

My opinions:
1) One Malaysia (1 Malaysia) - from the start I knew this was a monetary and political scam! As an educator in schools, I have never come across any racial issues, and yet, suddenly I heard the Government is coming up with 1 Malaysia. That is why in my speeches in schools, in class and in church I never mention "1 Malaysia".  Sadly, many students and teachers accuse me of being "racist", just because I never believed in 1 Malaysia.

2) 1MDB issues - Malaysians, why I say you are just like Mr Najib Razak? Because you invest in things like share markets, unit trust, you buy so many goods....I asked those who asked for my opinions, "DO YOU KNOW WHO USES YOUR INVESTED MONEY? DO YOU KNOW IF THE COMPANIES YOU INVEST IN ARE ETHICAL?" Many admit to me, they have no idea. As long they earn money they are happy, but when they lose money then issues such as 1MDB comes up. In the first place why do people even invest in 1MDB?

3) Reshuffling of Mr Najib's Cabinet - To me this is exactly the reflection of the Malaysian mentality; 'if I don't like somebody, I do all sort of things to get them out of my way'. A shame that the ministers who got fired, where not given the option to resign. So no point complaining Malaysia, because many of you are the same.

1) Malaysians you got to WAKE UP! Know that you have rights, speak up, be heard...
2) To those in power, be it in politics or the corporate sector, in this modern age, learn to LISTEN to those around you. Your so called, 'CRITICS' in reality are not there to condemn you but to help you.
3) Those who have too much money, make sure you KNOW the real details of things and company you invest your money in. If you can't be bothered, then when you lose money (such as in the 1MDB issue) do not make the headlines!
4) Invest your money in too much money, help me so that I can help the poor.

**Without Prejudice - remember, my opinions are based on many Malaysians, not all. There are genuine good and holy Malaysians in Malaysia.