Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The 9Th Methodist Convention - The Future Of sarawak From A Christian Perspective - Part 17

Tan Kee Hian expounded with clarity and conciseness on the talk "The Future Of Sarawak From A Christian Perspective". His presentation was more factual than theoretical, thus making it exceptionally enlightening and eye-opening.

Brother Kee Hian's talk touched on issues perceived to be more sensitive, pricking the nerves of certain leaders here and there throughout his presentation. Nevertheless, the talk pretty much opened up our mindset to changes. Like what Kee Hian said, "business-as-usual" is no longer fitting in this era of change.

The talk was thought-provoking. We certainly need more thinking people to put their thoughts into actions. In certain social aspects, we are staying close to some Third World nations in Africa. We really can't afford to idle anymore.

At the convention, the time frame given did not allow Kee Hian to accommodate the full length of his proceedings in the presentation. Certain sections were skipped to keep the talk within the specified time. With Kee Hian's generosity and kind consent, I am going to share them in my blog.
The picture shows Tan Kee Hian at a teh tarik session at Premier Hotel. Picture: Liong

Monday, June 29, 2009

The 9Th Methodist Convention - The Future Of Sarawak From A Christian Perspective - Part 16

In his summing -up, Kee Hian threw at the church leaders and members five key issues and questions for them to devote serious thinking to their role in relation to the future of Sarawak.

1. What are the "truths" on the economic and social developments of Sarawak?

2. Do we accept the values implied in the leadership/governance, political system and public policy management of the State? If not, what should we do?

3. The future outlook is clouded with uncertainties for the masses. Is "business-as-usual" a realistic option for the State?

4. What role could and should the Church and Christians take in the transformation of the State?

5. What specific actions and initiatives could the Church embark on to address current and future social issues?

Brother Tan Kee Hian had smartly left behind a good thinking space for the church leaders and members to critically think about the economic and social issues affecting the future of Sarawak.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

The 9Th Methodist Convention - The Future Of sarawak From A Christian Perspective - Part 15

On the role of Christians generally in transforming the nation, Brother Kee Hian provoked the thinking of the church members by posing to them questions of relevance.

Tan Kee Hian noted that Sarawak's churches have above average presence (in terms of church members) from the so-called 'ruling class" - people in positions of power, with influence and wealth. This elite group includes political leaders, government, business owners and leaders, prominent professionals, community leaders, and the rich and famous.

Tan Kee Hian further reckoned that it is crucial for the church members to think critically on the following pertinent questions:

1. How can the church work through these 'influential" members, especially on social development issues?

2. How can the church take clear positions on values of leadership, governance and social development, that is
consistent with its doctrine?

It is a challenging mental exercise to work out strategies in facing up to this era of change!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Sibu "Buy Malaysian" Trade Exposition

Soon after the eruption of the financial tsunami in September last year, the whole world was dragged into recession. Besides all the rescue packages, most of the nations (notably U.S.A. and China) mooted a nationalistic move by calling on their people to "buy national" to help their countries to get out of the prolonged slowdown. A lot of economists are getting worried that if the campaign gets out of hand, it might turn into an ugly protectionism which would be worrisome for the global trade.

Malaysia was fast to join in. The Sibu "Buy Malaysian" Trade Exposition is currently held at Sibu Trade & Exhibition Centre by Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs to create awareness among Sibuians. The Expo is on for a duration of three days (June 26-28) with a total of 100 participants.

Premier Hotel supported the move by taking part under the banner of MAH (Malaysian Association of Hotels). The picture shows our graphic personnal decorating the booth.

The grand stage where the atmosphere of the expo is going to be livened up throughout the period.

Annie Kong and Annie Lau of Premier Hotel have been assigned to attend to the booth.

Our national car maker Proton Saga took the centre stage of the expo.

The whole ambience is pretty conducive to trade expo.

Some last-minute touching up here and there.

The opening ceremony of Sibu "Buy Malaysian" Trade Expo was officiated by Dato ri Wong Soon Koh, the Second Finance Minister and Minister of Environment and Public Health.

Some photographers in Sibu also took up a booth to promote their works. I joined them for a snapshot.

Ah Chiong's Follow Me is not left out in the expo.

All the invited guests to the grand opening ceremony received an elegantly wrapped gift.

The participating hotels' representatives joined in for a group photo.

From left to right: me, Annie Lau, Annie Kong (Premier Hotel), Jimmy Ngan (Tanahmas Hotel), Jenny Liew (on the extreme right, Paramount Hotel).

Thursday, June 25, 2009

The 9Th Methodist Convention - The Future Of sarawak From A Christian Perspective - Part 14

In looking at the future of Sarawak critically with his expertise in this field, Tan Kee Hian enlightened the audience with his thought-provoking views. On top of that, he was more than generous to shed light on the top development need of Sarawak.

Citing the leadership, governance and values as the present top priority, Kee Hian said," Being legal and in compliance (with "system" and the rules) is just not enough."

Be critical-minded and develop a balanced thinking. " Let's look at the excesses," Brother Kee Hian told a congregation of 1,300 Methodist church members.

Also, not to be overlooked is whether trust in leadership and governance justified? Are there no absolute truths? Kee Hian posed these fundamental questions to the church members to critically look at our leaders.

Our values have to be just as important. "There has to be a good sense of fairness and equity. We must respect human and traditional rights. Respect also the Rule of Law wholeheartedly. Everybody must be held accountable for actions and outcomes. Leaders must be seen to be proper and just by the people," Kee Hian put the challenge to the floor.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The 9Th Methodist Convention - The Future Of sarawak From A Christian Perspective - Part 13

What does future hold for the people of Sarawak? This burning question keeps Sarawakians in suspense, wondering what is lying in front of this Eastern State.

Brother Kee Hian, with his extensive global exposure, is sharp in looking at issues facing us.

"The natural resources are going to continue to drive Sarawak's overall economic growth,"Kee hian said.

But, he cautioned, the continued growth at the historical pace is far from assured.

In the opinion of Tan Kee Hian, the masses (Sarawakians) are likely to remain short-changed, meaning what they are in receipt falls short of what they deserve. The so-called short-changing arises as a result of the continuing absence of fundamental changes in key areas like governance, values, drawing a clear line on the truths, rights and wrongs, and these include: 1. Sub-optimal economic outcome; 2. Inadequate local employment opportunities; 3. Inadequate wealth distribution; 4. Lagging infrastructure and social developments, and 5. Damage to environment.

Sarawakians are trapped in the so-called comfort zone. The mindset of "business-as-usual" persists and it is deep-rooted. This "biasa lah" attitude is very comfortable for the "ruling" class (people in positions of power, influence and wealth).

Touching on the transformation of the present modus operandi, Brother Kee Hian said it will happen only if : 1. There is recognition of need for change by key stakeholders; 2. We step up empowerment of drivers of change, and 3. There are new transformation champions/agents stepping forward.
The picture shows a bridge cross Lobaan River under construction. A tense public outcry erupted over the height of the bridge which, in the opinion of Sibuians, is like a blockage in a passageway. Photo: Steve Ling

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The 9Th Methodist Convention - The Future Of sarawak From A Christian Perspective - Part 12

The uneven developments in Sarawak are a cause for grave concern. Brother Kee Hian called the phenomenon "development gaps" which cast a long shadow on the future of Sarawak.

In his summary of the development gaps of Sarawak, Kee Hian said,"On the whole, Sarawak has achieved an admirable overall economic growth despite the less-than-optimal development strategies and policies, and execution."

Tan Kee Hian then went on to add that"the economic growth of Sarawak has largely been enabled by the abundant natural resources and related activities. Nevertheless, Kee Hian pointed out, Sarawak is still solidly stuck in middle-income trap.

Further to that, Kee Hian reminded the audience: The fruits of success are unevenly distributed among the people. "Our infrastructure and social developments have not kept pace with the economic growth," Kee Hian said.

On our environment and good governance, Kee Hian hit straight to the point,"The commercial and growth objectives appear to dominate our environmental substainability and social needs/rights. Good governance appears to have been sidelined and possibly sacrificed."
The picture shows our mighty Rajang River. Photo: Meng Lei

Monday, June 22, 2009

The 9Th Methodist Convention - The Future Of Sarawak From A Christian Perspective - Part 11

Brother Tan Kee Hian drew up a checklist on the future of Sarawak. He specifically highlighted five aspects which, in his opinion, are the key drivers of Sarawak's future growth.

The five key drivers are natural resources, leadership and governance, economic development strategy and policy, social development-strategy & policy, and execution-policy and services delivery.

Of the five, only natural resources and economic development strategy & policy are rated positive. The remaining three are in the red with negative ratings.

The above simply implies that the state is blessed with rich natural resources, but due to poor governance and execution, the economic outlook is much less promising.
The picture shows Rev Kong Chong Ling leading an intercession. Photo: Meng Lei

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day 2009

Today is Father's Day. It is getting more and more popular for offspring to celebrate the occasion to express their love for their dads.
Pauline gave me the above hand-made Father's Day card early this morning as a surprise gift. On the way to SMC Multi-storied Carpark after our breakfast, she popped in to a nearby supermarket with Yian and bought a bookmark for my bible.
These two little gifts from my dear daughter on this auspicious occasion are so very heart-warming!
"Happy Father's Day" to all fathers!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Sweet Love Band At Premier Hotel

Philip Hii and Need Lee are caught in action. It was a fun time photoshooting the band last night with plenty bursts of laughters.
Sweet Love Band posed for a shot. From left to right: Jojo, Leah, Bianne and Chicca, all hailing from the Philippines.

Bianne put on a sweet smile for a snapshot.

Leah was slightly caught by surprise.

Chicca was all ready when I snapped her.

The photoshooting was in progress. There was some innovation here - shooting down from high up.

They tried very hard to relax in order to look natural.

Then came the sharing time!

We moved over to the games room for a few more shots.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

The 9Th Methodist Convention - The Future Of Sarawak from A Christian Perspective - Part 10

In his summary of Sarawak's Social Development Indicators (using Malaysia as proxy), Brother Tan Kee Hian was unambigious in pointing out that Sarawak is generally worse in relation to Malaysia's average.

In knowledge and Education, Malaysia is rated Middle Income Group. Sarawak (relative to Malaysia's average) is at best equal only.

In the aspects of Income and Wealth Distribution and Poverty Eradication, Malaysia has been rated relatively poor (our Gini Coefficient for Income and Wealth Distribution is at 49.2%). Sarawak is significantly worse in comparison with the Malaysia's average.

Friday, June 12, 2009

The 9Th Methodist Convention - The Future Of Sarawak From A Christian Perspective - Part 9

Brother Tan Kee Hian then moved on to use a graphical presentation to illustrate the huge disconnect between the economic progress and poverty in Sarawak in comparison with other states.

By setting Incidence of Poverty (%) against Gross Household Monthly Income (RM) on a graph, Kee Hian showed that Sarawak lies very much above the curve, meaning that we are worse off than other states in bringing down our incidence of poverty through progressing economically. This simply means that the poor has benefited much less in Sarawak from the economic growth.
The picture shows a singspiration time. Photo: www.sibudongcheng.blogspot.com

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Food Promotions At Premier Hotel

We gave a release on our current food promotions covering the months of June and July through the local press and the blogsphere.
Invited were See Hua Daily News, United Daily, Sin Chew Daily, The Borneo Post, The Eastern Times, Utusan Borneo, Utusan Sarawak and The Chinese Methodist Message.
Also joining us were Liong (www.thesibu.blogspot.com , www.sibu.org ), Yong Sun (www.yongsun101.blogspot.com ) and Leng Kieh (www.sibudongcheng.blogspot.com )who are all active bloggers in Sibu.
It was wholly the Chicken Rice and Laksa affair, all priced to make you wow, wow!
Succulent and sumptuous, our chicken rice is simply the best deal in town. At RM 5++, it is steamed chicken with vegetables, chicken liver and gizzard, marinated boneless chicken feet, soy egg, double cooked flavoured rice and piping hot soup. If you wish, you may add on some supplementary side orders all at unbelievable pricing.
The Chicken Rice is available from Monday to Friday daily from 11:30 a.m. till 2:00 p.m. It is not available if the day falls on a public holiday.
It is our heritage dish! Sarawak Laksa is blanched vermicelli with fresh prawns, shredded chicken, shredded egg omelette and beansprouts in a mildly spiced laksa soup.
At RM 6++ per serve, you will find it value for money.
Absolutely hot, sour and spicy, Penang Asam Laksa is explosive flavoursome vermicelli soup with fresh prawns, wolf herring flakes, preserved cuttlefish, fish ball,egg and assorted vegetables, accompanied with prawn paste at only RM 7.50++.
The above Sarawak Laksa and Penang Asam Laksa are served only on every Saturday, Sunday and Public Holiday from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Come and try out!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The 9Th Methodist Convention - The Future Of Sarawak From a Christian Perspective - Part 8

After giving a brief rundown on Malaysia as a whole, Kee Hian then touched on the core of the subject.

It was against the backdrop of Malaysia that Kee Hian posed several thought-provoking questions to the audience. Economically and socially, how the State has been performing in comparison with the nation?

Over the past 20 years, Kee Hian noted that Sarawak pretty much grew in tandem with the nation.

Socially, Sarawak has plenty of room for catching up. Our Millennium Development Goal (MGD) 1 is to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger. Are Sarawakians better off or worse off than the rest of Malaysians?

In terms of Incidence of Poverty, Sarawak is above the national average.

Kee Hian quoted Dr. Richard Leete, UNDP Resident Representative for Malaysia, saying," At the aggregate level, Sarawak has an enviable record of development and an overall poverty level of just 8% in 2004. However, development in the rural areas has been less spectacular, and the rural poverty rate was 14% in 2004."

Sarawak also lies above the national average on Children Under-five with Moderate Malnutrition and Children Under-five with Severe Malnutrition.

On MDG Goal 8 which is to develop and implement strategies for decent and productive work for youth, Sarawak also stays above the national average in Unemployment Rate of 15-24 year olds.

The above shows that we are obviously worse off than the national average in the social aspects.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The 9Th Methodist Convention - The Future Of Sarawak From A christian Perspective - Part 7

The Gini rating has given Malaysia pretty low in standing internationally in equal distribution of income/wealth.

Tan Kee Hian said we are at best close to relatively unknown countries in Africa. We have been jeering at countries like Indonesia and Vietnam, but we are worse than them in terms of equality in income/wealth distribution.

To sum up, Malaysia is still strong in natural resources area. Honestly, we have very little to cheer about in value-added and knowledge-intensive areas since we have very limited progress on moving forward into them.

We are not short of excellent policies, but our poor execution has bogged us down.

Our social developments lag behind economic developments. In the international scenario, our social developments are behind other countries.

Tan Kee Hian concluded that Malaysia largely relies on raw blessings we inherited from the land.
The picture shows a tea-break scene at the convention. Photo: Brother Meng Lei

Monday, June 8, 2009

The 9Th Methodist Convention - The Future Of Sarawak From A Chtistian Perspective - Part 6

Mr. Tan Kee Hian then turned to the social aspects of Malaysia. How have we fared so far?

On our income and wealth distribution aspect, Kee Hian used The Gini Coefficient to elaborate how equally/unequally we have been distributing our income/wealth.

The Gini Coefficient is an index commonly used as a measure of inequality of income or wealth distribution. It is expressed as a percentage with values between 0% and 100%. Low Gini coefficient indicates more equal distribution and high coefficient gives an indication of more unequal distribution. In other words, the lower the better.

The present worldwide Gini coefficients range from 23.2 in Denmark to 70.7 in Namibia.

Typically the coefficients in rich nations are less than 40%. Countries in Continental Europe are typically less than 30%.

Kee Hian then moved on to point out that Malaysia's Gini Rating is far from satisfactory. It is shocking to note the countries with Gini coefficients staying close to Malaysia's (our Gini coefficient presently is at 49.2%) :

Guinea-Bissau (47)
Nepal (47.2)
Mozambique (47.3)
Madagascar (47.5)
Venezuela (48.2)
Costa Rica (49.8)
Zimbabwe (50.1)
The Gambia (50.2)
Swaziland (50.4)
Niger (50.5)
Zambia (50.8)
Papua New Guinea (50.9)

If the above has not thrown you off balance, then the following coefficients of Malaysia's neighbours might strike you a blow:

South Korea (31.6)
Indonesia (34.3)
Vietnam (34.4)
Laos (34.6)
India (36.8)
Sri Lanka (40.2)
Cambodia (41.7)
Thailand (42.0)
Singapore (42.5)
Philippines (44.5)
China (46.9)

Sunday, June 7, 2009

The 9Th Methodist Convention - The Future Of Sarawak From A Christian Perspective - Part 5

Economically, Malaysia is facing problems which are detrimental to the nation's growth.

Malaysia being an export-oriented eeconomy is experiencing a downward trend in export. This is worrisome since we hinge our growth on export.

In addition to export slowdown, Malaysia's private investments are declining against the public investments. Simply put, per ringgit of public investment now attracts less private investments than it did in the past.

Ultimately an economy needs private sectors to invest to propel its growth. Public sector should not be a locomotive of growth and its role is best confined to stimulating economic activities.

This signal of declining Malaysia's private investments has far-reaching consequences in terms of our growth.

Calling for deep concern is Malaysia's share of global FDI (foreign direct investments) which is now going downhill.

Look, even Malaysians are investing less now on our own homeland, why should the foreigners bring FDIs to Malaysia?

Years ago, Malaysia embarked on value-added developments to prop up the economy. But to date, the progress is patchy and there is very little that we can shout about.

1. Little downstream in sectors with upstream strengths:
Oil and Gas - petrochemicals?
Palm Oil - secondary and tertiary processing?
Timber - finished consumer and industrial wood-based products?
Rubber - finished consumer and industrial rubber-based products?

2. Science-based, industralised agriculture and aquaculture?
Serdang lost its way and became just another university.

3. Major Government initiatives:
Bio Nexus, biotechnology
Rubber Research Institute
Malaysian Palm Oil Board
Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC, ICT)
Knowledge-intensive economy

4. Large-scale tourism

5. Education "Hub"

6. Medical tourism

7. Halal Development Corporation (Islamic finance)

The 9Th Methodist Convention - The Future Of Sarawak From A Christian Perspective - Part 4

Over the past 18 years, Malaysia recorded remarkably high growth. But the statistical figures show that we are now declining in our growth rates.

This calls for concern.

A high-level assessment of four groups of comparable countries over the past 50 years may give us an insight into the urgency of the concern.

Group 1 comprises of countries with the same starting point as Malaysia but are now lower than us in income status. These include Sri Lanka, Philipines, Morocco and Senegal.

In Group 2, the countries started off at a similar footing as Malaysia but are now far better off than us. You see them in Taiwan , South Korea and Singapore.

Group 3 includes those countries that shone economically in the past but have now dwindled to the same Middle-Income bracket as Malaysia. The notable examples are Argentina and Venezuela.

The fouth group makes up of nations that flourished but later sank badly. However, with sound economic policy corrections, they picked up, achieved major shifts and are now outperforming Malaysia. Chile and Ireland are two of the outstanding cases. Ireland boldly changed and perked up in 1987. The country now shines brighter than Malaysia.

The above Historical Analysis of Economic Development Across Nations teaches us four lessons:

1. A country's position in the world today can have little bearing on its future position:
- Argentina and Venezuela
- South Korea and Taiwan
2. The future of similarly-developed economies can, in as short a time-span as a single
generation, turn out to be markedly different:
-South Korea and Taiwan versus Malaysia
3 The resilience of a country's economic development is not necessarily tied to the past trends
or quality of previous developmental policies:
- Argentina and Venezuela
- Chile
4. "Right" changes in economic policy can deliver a burst in economic activity within a
remarkedly short time:

The 9Th Methodist Convention - The Future Of Sarawak From A Christian Perspective - Part 3

Kee Hian quoted what our Lord Jesus Christ says in Matthew 25:29, " For everyone who has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him."

This parable of the talents was raised to emphasise an urgency for Malaysia to move away from complacency. In short, don't do things in the way like "business as usual". This point is pretty striking!

As mentioned earlier, Sarawak grows in tandem with Malaysia. It is, therefore, pertinent for Malaysia to come into the picture as a backdrop before we focus specifically on Sarawak.

A challenge confronting Malaysia presently is to transform the nation to a status of high income. After Najib took over the helm of the country, this challenging task (of upgrading our income status) came face to face with him.

Malaysia over the past three decades through economic opening up and reforms had admirably elevated its income status from low to middle (or moderate). The boldness and foresight of our past leaders in implementing economic reform model led to the successful rise of the nation. Obviously we are not going to stay stagnant - we have got to move up!

Fronting the nation now is an uphill task on how to take Malaysia to a status of high income.

Malaysia has to develop a new economic model urgently to lift the nation up. Simply put, to achieve high-income status, our mentality has to be shifted away from "business as usual" (or biasa lah attitude).
Photo: Wong Meng Lei

Saturday, June 6, 2009

The 9Th Methodist Convention - The Future Of Sarawak From A Christian Perspective - Part 2

Before Kee Hian went into the core of the topic, he attributed the outbreak of the existing global economic crisis to a serious build-up of hidden dangers and excesses. The past decade saw a period of high growth and prosperity around the world and the adjustment of the imbalances therefrom is now painfully felt. Kee Hian quoted "Global Crisis Through A Spiritual Lens", saying we can't solve global crisis unless we solve the spiritual matters.

Kee Hian then made a reference to mission schools, pointing out that it is a commitment to truth that makes the schools different from the others. The point here is that christians can exert an influence on the world through building on the christian values.

Sarawak is blessed with abundant resources ranging from oil, gas to vast lands. These are assets of the dear Sarawakians and rightly are for their benefits.

With the resources in abundance, Sarawak is potential players in petrochemical industry and knowledge-based advanced agriculture. Kee Hian quoted the Netherlands, Abu Dabai and Singapore as places with resounding success in petrochemical developments. Just take a look at the Netherlands and Singapore which are all non-oil producers and yet they managed to build up downstream industries in oil and gas with pride.

Certainly we have to input a lot of innovative thinking, proper planning and superior execution for the success stories in Singapore and the Netherlands to happen in Sarawak. Simply put, things are always made to happen. Is Sarawak commited towards achieving a higher status in these downstream industries?

Similarly, our hydroelectrical power and forest products are economically potential for Sarawak. Kee Hian was not short of figures and cases of success.

With scientific research, Sarawak's land resources make commercially-driven large scale aquaculture and horticulture viable. Have a look at Thailand and Taiwan and you will agree that it is not impossible for Sarawak to shine in agriculture.

Tourism is another potential outlook for Sarawak. But Sarawak should aim for mass-scale tourism for it to turn into a flourishing trade. Ecotourism is noble, but it can't generate revenue sizeable enough for the industry to be a notable contributor.
Photo: Wong Meng Lei

Friday, June 5, 2009

A Teh Tarik Chat With Tan Kee Hian

Seating left to right: Steve Ling, Kee Hian and me. Standing left to right: Philip Hii, Liong and Miaw Ting.
I fixed up with Tan Kee Hian for a teh tarik session this afternoon at 3:30 p.m. at Cafe Palmelia in Premier Hotel. It was a rare opportunity to be accorded with such face-to-face chat with a high-profiled strategic planning consultant.
The informal session gathered together a few bloggers for a frank chat with Kee Hian on issues of concern. To get the words straight from the horse's mouth was certainly exciting.
On the global recovery from the worst-hit financial tsunami, Kee Hian was of the opinion that the splinters of optimistic signals are not concrete enough, but the world economy is stabilising. The West is going to take the lead in the next round of recovery.
The world is undergoing a fundamental change, Kee Hian told us. Gone are the days of high growth. The recovered economy would tread along at a slower pace.
Touching on Najib's bold initiatives since he took the helm of Malaysia, Kee Hian observed that the new PM is pretty committed to bringing about changes to the nation before the next general election. Simple enough, it is change it or lose. " The PM is taking PR seriously and it is a good sign," said Mr. Tan.
Sarawak is trapped in a state of inefficiency in execution. A lot of innovative thinking has to be put in to lift the state up. There have got to be sufficient checks and balances in running the state.
Kee Hian's words of advice to the bloggers and journalists: Put forward more thought-provoking questions to the administrators pertaining to the developments of the state.
The teh tarik session was very enlightening.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

The 9Th Methodist Convention - The Future Of Sarawak From A Christian Perspective - Part 1

Mr. Tan Kee Hian delivered a topical talk this morning at the 9th Methodist Convention held in The Masland Methodist Church. Being professional in the field of strategic planning, Kee Hian's address was highly relevant to Sarawak and specifically for christians to provoke their thinking in their endeavours to seek transforming the nation through spreading scriptural holiness.

Sarawakians are certainly all concerned with what our dear state holds for us. Are the outlooks gloomy or can we actually be hopeful? Alas, if we let politicians do a quick run-down on the prospects, things are all pretty optimistic.

Time is just perfectly right for us to get someone like Mr. Tan Kee Hian, a renowned expert in this field, to come to enlighten us on the burning issues.

Kee Hian put it right that although Sarawak has its unique economic potentials which may be different from that of other states, fundamentally this eastern state in Malaysia treads along the growth trend of the nation. Simply put, Sarawak moves in tandem with the nation economically.

Kee Hian started off the topic by giving a health check on the growth and developments of Sarawak. He then formulated a hypothesis on the possible outlooks and the key factors influencing the outcome. Finally, Mr. Tan expounded on how christians can transform Sarawak through commitment in involvement.
The picture shows the Masland Methodist Church. Photo: Wong Meng Lei

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The 9Th Methodist Convention - Spreading Scriptural Holiness, Transforming The Nation

The procession in progress. Photo: Wong Meng Lei
The Masland Methodist Church. Photo: Wong Meng Lei

The 9th Methodist Convention was called to a glorious start this morning in the presence of more than 1,300 church members.
Bishop Rev Dr. Hwa Yung in his opening message called on the church members to live out their lives following the Bible.
Bishop's point is pertinent and his message bears relevance to all christians. In short, we have to be practising christians in all aspects of our lives. All the participants of the convention have got to reflect on Bishop Rev Dr. Hwa Yung's preaching.
The theme of the convention is "Spreading Scriptural Holiness, Transforming The Nation". This is the theme of the General Conference for this Quadrennium and it is high time for us to focus on it. Bishop is going to take on the theme talks (1 & 2).
I will be on full-time basis tomorrow attending the convention.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

The 9Th Methodist Convention - Dato' YB Ngeh Koo Ham

The 9th Methodist Convention is going to take off tomorrow in Sibu at The Masland Methodist Church. It promises high-powered speakers to provoke the thinking of the church members.
Dato' YB Ngeh Koo Ham (or brother Ngeh as we may wish to call him in the church) will be here to speak on "Transforming the Nation: How A Christian Can Influence A Nation Through Politics".
A thought-provoking topical talk, especially when it is delivered by a DAP strongman.
Don't miss it!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Selamat Hari Gawai Dayak 2009

To all those who celebrate Gawai Dayak, I wish you "Selamat Hari Gawai Dayak".

Gawai Dayak literally means Dayak Festival, a festive occasion for Dayak, Iban, Kayan, Kenyah and a few more. First celebrated on 1st June, 1965, Gawai Dayak has since become an annual festival symbolising unity, aspiration and hope for the Dayak community.

It has become a tradition for the Dayak community to throw an open- house reception on 1st and 2nd of June. This has in no small way fostered better racial harmony.

The picture shows a miring (an offering ceremony) in progress.

1st June, 2007 Gawai Dayak

3rd June, 2007 Gawai Dayak Visit - in picture

Selamat Gawai Dayak 2008

Yii Chin Hui & Wong Ngiik Lang - Happy Diamond Wedding Anniversary

An elegantly designed invitation card.
Yii Chin Hui & Wong Ngiik Lang cutting the anniversary cake on the stage together with their offspring - They gave their heartfelt thanks to God. From left to right : Ting Sing King , Yii Ming Hoo ( their youngest son and youngest daughter-in-law), Rev Yii Ming Sang and his missus (their second son and daughter-in-law), Paul Yu and his missus (their eldest son and daughter-in-law), Yii Ming Yuek and her hubby (their eldest daughter and son-in-law), and Pastor Ruth Yii and Rev Liong ( their youngest daughter and son-in-law).

Yii Ming Hoo, Ting Sing King and the two lovely sons.

A presentation by a choir.

Paul Yu, the eldest son of Chin Hui & Ngiik Lang, gave a touching sharing. His efforts in using Mandarin in his speech were most encouraging.

A dance presentation.

Grandchildren formed a trio to sing for the grandparents.

Yian with her sister King.

Together they went on stage to give a toast to everybody.

Mr. Yii Chin Hui and Mdm. Wong Ngiik Lang tied the knots 60 years ago and they vowed to walk the journey of marriage in the name of the Lord.
On reflection, they have every reason to praise God for the wonderful life partnership.
Today they celebrated their Diamond Wedding Anniversary. When they were on the stage this afternoon, they stood tall testifying the wonderful blessings of the Almighty God. With hand in hand, Chin Hui and Ngiik Lang sang out loud to the Lord, exemplifying a perfect God-blessed couple.
The anniversary lunch was held at Sheraton Restaurant. I went with Yian as invited guests. Yian's youngest sister Ting Sing King was married to Yii Ming Hoo, the youngest son of Chin Hui and Ngiik Lang.
The heart-warming lunch reception was smooth-running, with words and songs of praise filling up the whole atmosphere.
God beautifully defines love in 1 Corinthians 13 : 4-8 : love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
In Chin Hui and Ngiik Lang, we are witnessing a living testimony of love.
We trust that with the flourishing love of God, they are going to walk even closer in the many more years to come.