An Inverted Fu

by Pastor Allen Tan (Yew Fook)
Chinese put up red posters with auspicious words (Chun Lian) during Spring Festival (Chinese New Year) at their door posts. They also hang red cloth over the lintel. What they practiced resembles the practice of the Israelites. Israelites posted scriptures all over their door posts. In fact if you visit Christian homes in China, you will see that many homes used scriptures for their Chun Lian.

To the Chinese, red cloth symbolizes salvation and deliverance.
For the Israelites, the blood of the lamb symbolizes these too. Remember the story of the Passover in the book of Exodus? The blood of the lamb was put on the lintel and door posts. When the angel of death sees the blood, he will spare the household from death. Could that be coincident?

Not at all, because God loves the Chinese. There are over 200 Chinese characters which matched the stories in the book of Genesis. It proved that the descendants of Noah who migrated to China did pass down their ancestors’ stories.

Fu is the Chinese character for Luck.
Chinese often put up a poster with the character Fu upside down on walls and doors during Spring Festival without knowing why. It is the only time when a Chinese character is posted upside down intentionally. Not too long ago I dined at a Chinese restaurant. The owner had posted three posters with the word Man (Full), two of which were posted upside down. I laughed because if you do so, you are in fact draining out everything you have! People inverted other Chinese characters has to do with ignorance about an inverted Fu.

In the past the word Fu mainly meant “luck and fortune”.
But today it means “happiness, auspiciousness and blessing”. The legend goes like this: Zhu Yuanzhang, the founder of Ming Dynasty (1368 – 1644), planned to kill a family whose man insulted Empress Ma his wife. Zhu marked the family with the character Fu on their door. The Empress was worried. In order to avoid bloodshed, without the knowledge of Zhu she asked all families to post the character of Fu on their doors too. Unfortunately an illiterate family had posted the character upside down.

When Zhu’s palace guards were sent out to do the execution, they were confused by the deluge characters of Fu, and they lost track with the targeted family. They reported to the emperor about what they saw, including about a family who posted an inverted Fu. Zhu was angry. He then ordered the family who posted Fu in the wrong way to be executed instead. Empress Ma quickly made a petition with him. She reasoned with the emperor, “The family knew that you would come and visit them today. That is why they posted the Fu upside down intentionally. You are the Fu(luck) who comes to town today.” The words “come” and “invert” have the same pronunciation as Dao. Playing around with words of similar pronunciation, Fu Dao would mean “Luck has come”.

The explanations of Empress Ma had pacified the emperor, and thus bloodshed was avoided. From then on, Chinese families would post the Fu upside down.

There are two reasons for the practice:

Firstly, it serves to attract blessings into the family.

Secondly, it serves to commemorate the wisdom of Empress Ma.

Personally I feel that blessings would not come just by the way we post the Fu upside down.
I am sure you do not want to repeat that person’s mistake whose ignorance had almost cost him his life, do you?

Chinese characters should be written and posted in their proper manner. Otherwise they are meaningless at all!

On this auspicious festive occasion, I would like to convey a message that all blessings come from God the Creator of the universe. And also God wants us to work hard in order to achieve them. No matter how many inverted characters of Fu we have posted all over our household compound, if we are lazy, we would reap nothing.

I wish you a Blessed Chinese New Year!

email allan tan

Church has awakened to engaging in politics

I must say my contribution to the fight for justice in Malaysia is very minute. For participating in Bersih rallies, I just hoped to add myself to the total number for one more soul. This letter is not only my account of my Bersih 3.0 story, but also a comment about its impact.

FMT LETTER: 

bersih-3-0From Rev Allen Tan (Yew Fook), via e-mail
I had several experiences in protest rallies including Bersih 2.0. I got myself prepared for Bersih 3.0 even before it was announced. I took part in the rally as a responsible Christian minister as well as a Malaysian citizen. I cannot tolerate the corrupt practices by the present government.

I remembered the words of Rev Martin Luther King, Jr, “Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor, it must be demanded by the oppressed.” Bersih rallies are about asking for free and fair Elections. I cannot tolerate any political coalition to take governance through dirty means. As such I cannot sit at home and let others to protest for me.

I took pains to request the Bersih organising committee to hold the rally on a Saturday and not a Sunday. I was grateful to them as Bersih 2.0. was also on a Saturday. I anticipated that this time round there would be many Christian participants since the Church has awakened to engaging in politics.

As what I did for Bersih 2.0., I lodged in Kuala Lumpur center with two other friends. I could sense that something was different from Bersih 2.0. Those days the atmosphere was very tense. The authorities declared that Bersih was an illegal organisation and subsequently anything related to Bersih was illegal, including their shirts, caps and badges.

Ironically, prior to the Bersih 2.0. rally, some people were even arrested for wearing a yellow shirt! They intimidated people constantly, warning them not to take part in the rally or else they would have to face the music.

So those days we had to take a commuter train service to KL to avoid road-checks. This time round we drove to KL despite the “scare” tactics, though not quite similar than last year. The mayor of KL City Hall Ahmad Fuad Ismail had obtained a court order to ban people from entering Dataran Merdeka which was our venue for the rally.

He had said that he would not close roads to Dataran Merdeka, but as a matter of fact, roads were closed. Bersih insisted on using Dataran Merdeka  as it has the significance of independence. Barisan Nasional has bound the people for 55 years, and it is the time for us to cry for freedom from their slavery.

Who was that non-elected mayor who banned the people from using Dataran Merdeka? Dataran Merdeka  belongs to all Malaysians and the mayor and BN leaders have no right to own them alone. When they cordoned off Dataran Merdeka, it conveyed a message that BN was colonising the people.

The necessity to take to the streets

Not many would think like me. Even Christian ministers would argue that prayer would sufficiently spur change, and they doubted the necessity to take things to streets. I urged Christians not to pray at home but pray at Dataran Merdeka .

It is true that it is never the first option for most people to engage in street protests in order to express their discontentment against regimes. It always happened only when all avenues were exhausted. When the authorities do not want to listen to the people, when they do not want to reform to bless their own people, and when they sealed up the mouth of the public by controlling the media, the only avenue for the people is to take matters into the streets.

What took place in the Arab world was not something which erupted suddenly. The Arab Spring has seen the dictators overthrown!

Bersih 2.0. was organised because our present electoral system is not free and fair. So they came up with eight petitions for electoral reform. The government then set up a Parliamentary Select Committee to study into the matter. Unfortunately, after seven months, the PSC only adopted one out of the eight items. Other suggestions recommended by the PSC were insignificant. It was for show that the government is committed to reforms.

Something serious took place on the last day of the second session of Parliament this year (April 19, 2012). Nine bills were passed in just one single day! The speed was sufficient for BN to win an Oscar award for Comedian Movies. It is another “Malaysia Boleh” and “Only in Malaysia” indeed! The new bills included an amendment to The Election Offenses Act 1954 to the disadvantage of the Oppositions.

This bill alone justified holding Bersih 3.0 This bill was so secretive that it escaped the attention of many Members of Parliament on both sides of the divide. Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak told the people that he wanted to create the most ever transparent government in Malaysian history. Now with this ridiculous bill passed, what kind of transparency can we bank on?

The electoral roll is full of thousands of phantom voters. Names that are not found in the Mykad department were registered as voters. There were voters being transferred to other constituencies, some even away from their home states. There were voters who have been voting in the past finding their names missing.

Bersih rally in KL had 250,000 to 300,000 participants. Besides, rallies were held in other cities and towns throughout Malaysia. Globally they were held in 35 countries and 85 locations. With the wrath of so many people, the government should bow to the wishes of the public. They should heed the petitions of the people. They should commit to electoral reform before the next General Election.

On the day of the rally, people gathered in six meeting points beginning at 6am. More than 30 roads leading to the city were closed. For Light Rail Transport, some stations were closed. At about 1.30pm, people began to move nearer to Dataran Merdeka. The crowd was so big that it overflowed to cover up many roads and streets around Dataran Merdeka .

The gathering was peaceful. People sang Negaraku. They also chanted slogans such as “Hidup Hidup, Hidup Bersih”, “No to Lynas”, and others. At 2.30pm my friends and I moved to other streets. We tried to squeeze through the crowd at Masjid Jamek LRT station but to no avail. So we came to the river-side for a chat. Many people were scattered here and there all around.

We began to move back to the Bar Council at about 3.20pm. The Bersih 3.0 organising chairman S Ambiga did dismiss the crowd shortly before we moved away. But most of the people including us did not get the news. After a while a water cannon truck at the Bar Council sprayed jets of chemical-laced water all around. The crowd was fleeing and screaming. I took the opportunity to video the incident from a distance of 50 meters.

About two minutes later, I heard sounds of “Pak Pak Pak…” I thought the tear gas was fired in front of me but for some time I saw no smoke. I then turned around and to my horror more than three canisters were smoking behind me, the nearest one being only 10 meters away. I dashed through the dense smoke by holding my breath.

Out of panic I forgot to pull out my handkerchief from the pocket of my trousers. Instead, I took out my porous webcam pocket to cover my nose and mouth. I could not hold back my breath for too long, and subsequently I sucked in the smoke through my nose and mouth. My eyes, nose and throat stung.

When I was at a safe place, I quickly sucked some bamboo salt, rinsed my mouth, drank some water, and washed my eyes. I shared my salt with others, Malays and Chinese.

When I went back to Jalan Sultan, only did I learn that the police did similar attacks at many points. People recounted their ordeal that the police were entrapping the people with tear gas from all angles. That was malicious! The right way to do is not by attacking the unarmed protesters but by dispersing them without harming them.

Brutality of the police was disgusting

police_violence_at_bersih_3From the online media, I read about the violence by the police. They beat up the protesters. They even intruded into the restaurant and harassed the customers who wore yellow shirts. The journalists were not spared. Many of them were beaten and their cameras being seized. How can we expect BN to lead us into an advanced and democratic country when we see what they did was so barbaric?

They did not even respect the International Law that that says they cannot harm journalists? The Home Minister Hishamuddin claimed that deleting photos was a Standard Operating Procedure. The next day the Inspector-General of Police Ismail Omar clarified that it is not a SOP. How come a Home Minister was so ignorant about his trade?

The brutality of the police was disgusting. They arrested 512 people. The attack by police on the protesters started when some people broke through the barricades. Was it a good excuse to take action? The Bar Council was right that they said the court order only ban the people from Dataran Merdeka.

Though people got into the barricade they were still outside of Dataran Merdeka . According to Ambiga, it was likely a sabotage. Well, those were agent provocateurs. It sounds so familiar about the claim from what took place in many gatherings of Pakatan Rakyat which were being harassed by rascals!

The greatest loser in Bersih 3.0

Najib_Razak_2008-08-21Who is the greatest loser in Bersih 3.0? Najib! Remember in Bersih 2.0, before the rally, Ambiga hoped to meet up with Najib but her wish did not take place. He dumped all the responsibility to the IGP. In Bersih 3.0, prior to the rally, Najib was so silent about it. He dumped all the responsibility to the Home Minister. The later was flip-flopping. At first he said he had no problem with the rally. Then he dumped all the problems to the mayor. And the mayor dumped all the problems on the IGP.

I could relate the story of Exodus with the dilemma of Najib. When Moses asked the Pharaoh to allow the Israelites to leave Egypt, God was behind it. God told Moses He would harden the heart of Pharaoh. When Pharaoh refused to let God’s people go, actually it was God who had hardened his heart. For Bersih 2.0 and 3.0, God has hardened the heart of Najib. That tells why he made the wrong decisions. When man is behind a move, it will fail. But when God is behind it, it will succeed.

After the rally on 428, the next day, the atmosphere all around Malaysia became fresher. But our struggle does not end here. We still need to tussle hard with the evil forces in order to bring down the corrupt regime. Hidup Rakyat! Bangkit Rakyat! Hidup Bersih! Hallelujah, Malaysia shall enter into the year of Jubilee soon. Probably the General Election will be delayed further to September or later.

Please take note that on Sept 16 this year, Malaysia will be finishing her 49 years of slavery, and on this day we will enter into the 50th year, the year of Jubilee according to the Bible. Malaysia shall be free from the oppression by BN. Malaysia shall become a Rainbow Nation. Rainbow – a symbol of diversity. Our diverse races shall come to fruition as everyone is a Malaysian!

email allan tan

March for the Next Generation

Pastor Took to the Streets for the Next Generation

Pastor Allen Tan (Yew Fook)
I am a Pastor. I am not affiliated with any political party, but instead I cared about the country over the years about the abnormal things surrounding us. I wrote in the newspapers for the past three decades, and had been a columnist and a feature writer, criticizing about inappropriate policies and practices by both the ruling and opposition parties. And I would provide constructive ideas. In the process of writing, the freedom for my expressions was getting narrower by the day. Thus subsequently I wrote less recently!

bersih2.0I looked forward to the July 9 BERSIH 2.0 Assembly. I figured out how to participate in it, because the Federal Government and the Royal Police Force had been making a lot of scared actions and distorted information.

When Bersih complied with the King to take into account the social order and were willing to hold a rally at Merdeka Stadium instead of a street march, people thought that was good news and they could be assured of free participation. Who knows the Government and the police have classified Bersih as an illegal organization and refused to grant a permit!

Finally, the IGP called upon them to change to the Shah Alam Stadium. It was strange, since Bersih was an illegal organization, why they were allowed to hold it in another stadium?

Bersih chose Merdeka Stadium was right move. The venue had a special meaning in it, that is, Tunku Abdul Rahman in 1957 declared Malaya an independent country at that stadium, and he became the first Prime Minister. Independence speaks of freedom. The purpose of the rally was to urge the government to implement a fair and clean electoral system and to submit a memo the King at the palace. So Merdeka Stadium is most suitable for that purpose.

Since it was not permitted, which means people will be hampered by the authorities! In recent days newspapers and radio and television broadcast were overwhelmed with news about road closures, roadblocks, arrests, calling people not to go to gatherings, and other like information. Malaysians are generally afraid of going against orders, so such information will certainly reach a certain level of scared effect.

When the date approached, the government further announced that on July 8 Puduraya Bus Station would be closed for buses from outstations, and public buses to stop operating on July 9 in Kuala Lumpur city center. Two years ago I participated in the Anti-ISA rally.

With the experience about the action by the authorities, I expected that KTM, LRT and Monorail transports would encounter unexpected difficulties for the public on July 9. And it came to pass! So two other Pastors and I made arrangement to put up a night on July 8 at the vicinity of Jingwu Hill.

Over at the place we lodged we had a pleasant surprise to see the Bishop from a certain denomination was there with a Pastor from one of its Churches. They will participate in the rally too! It was a full-house at the building that evening being occupied by a group of Christians who were participating in the rally, we were not alone!

Oppressed by fear

At evening we bought a night-issue “China Press”, and found the heading that says “Will Arrest Everyone on Sight”. That had really frightened us off. We were still flesh and blood! On Sunday 8.30 am I would be preaching in Petaling Jaya. If KL was to be declared a state of emergency on Saturday, or if there is no public transport to go home, or I was being arrested, who will take over my itinerary?

For Malaysian Christian Churches, currently it is rare for making bold speech, if Pastors were to be arrested, would you get appraisal from church leaders and believers or would you be rebuked? I let the readers to judge about it! A few days ago the Federal Reserve Unit had done training with the Army, thus would they open fire on the crowd? Thousands of Malay martial arts fighters had pledged to fight with the people who joined the rally, would they deliberately cause trouble? Oh if I die let me die!

If the late Rev. Martin Luther King did not come forward to confront the authorities boldly over discrimination of the Blacks, there would not be a black man President like Barack Obama today. I went to bed early that night; maybe it was an act of trying to bury my worries. I woke up middle of the night praying. Saturday morning when my eyes were opened seeing the first ray of sunlight, I felt a deep peace that had surpassed understanding. Fear no longer oppressed me! I knew God will do great things in this country now!

We go out for breakfast at Kota Raya around Sultan Street area. We saw people who were here and there, and we knew these were our fellow partners. We returned to our rooms and watched live TV coverage. Maybe it did not strike the authorities’ minds that the live broadcast had in fact become a good source of information for the rally participants to plan for strategic actions. Reports also said many people were arrested at the train stations and many were barred from getting out of the gates.

Our rooms were at a high floor which enabled us to have a bird’s eye-view on crowd movements. At 1.00 pm we saw people flock to Petaling and Sultan Streets with shouts of slogans. A Pastor and I got down and joined the crowd, and whereas another Pastor had gone down earlier. By then we lost contact with him. Our group could not break through the Hang Tuah Road which was heavily guarded by FRU police, so we turned back and headed to the Maybank Building.

There, whenever we heard of an applause it was because of a large group of people been successfully breaking through the police barricade. In a short moment more and more people had converged at Pudu Road area. Our group had a lot of people, roughly estimated as at least twenty thousand people, right? People who were bold wore yellow Bersih shirts. If not, some held yellow balloons, flowers, and other yellow things instead.

Most people did not dress up in yellow so as to avoid being arrested without first accomplishing our missions! Like a carnival here, we met old and new friends, regardless of race. Then who say we were not Sons of Malaysia? Who say we were not a peaceful assembly?

We had three major races of West Malaysia and people from East Malaysia. I am pleased to see many young people there, including many teenage girls. Seeing those young people who had a heart for pursuing democracy would mean there is rescue and hope for Malaysia!

Tensions likened to a battlefield

Our plan was to hold a rally in the Stadium instead of a street march. Since we could not get near to the stadium we had to rally in the streets. The crowd gradually walked to Puduraya along Pudu Road. I did not know who made decisions for the lead. I thought we would make a detour to head to the Stadium by passing by the old Pudu Jail. We were forced to halt when there was a FRU barricade at Bukit Bintang Road in front of the traffic lights.

We could not cross the “Red Sea” (the red helmets of the FRU police were like the Red Sea). Where is Moses then? FRU were carrying rifles, my God, we were unarmed, why they needed to heavily arming themselves? Police were stationed at back and front of the crowd as if we were in a battlefield. The police had caused unnecessary tensions in KL city center.

malaysia-protestx-largeSoon I came to see water cannon trucks arrived at Maybank.
To my previous experience at the Anti-ISA rally, I knew the police would soon launch a water cannon and tear gas attack simultaneously! I cautioned my Pastor friend to run. I believed many of us were first-time participants, and that was why they did not guard themselves against the police’s swift action.

True enough, jets of water were being shot onto the crowd and were followed by sounds of bang bang bang – tear gas was fired.

Many people were trapped in thick smoke, and then the victims suffered teary eyes and running noses. Their visions were hindered and they sprawled in panic trying to escape out of the messy scene. Though others who were not trapped in the thick smoke, they too were infected by the gas. teargas bersh

We passed around mineral salts to each other and we sucked in our mouths and were thus relieved. Many used it to wash their eyes and faces. Because too many people were using mobile phones, we were unable to connect with our other Pastor friend. When we were backed to the room in the evening, then only we knew that he had encountered a miserable experience, that he was hit badly by water cannon and gas at Maybank area. I knew how terrible it was when two years ago how I was hit by them at Tuanku Abdul Rahman Road inside the mall. So let me express my empathy to all of you who were victims at the 709 Bersih Rally.

At about 2.20 pm, it began to rain, it was quite heavy, but we said it was God who helped us because the rain will extinguish the smokes. Yes, the police had indeed stopped firing tear gas by then! And water from the water cannons was chemical-laced which would cause irritations on the skins. Now the rain water had helped to flush off the chemicals, Hallelujah!

Some people wanted to leave for shelter when it rains, but we heard voices shouting, “Do not be afraid, and do not run away!” People then stood in the rain and some others even sat down on the road. The rain had made us more encouraged! We were sand-witched in between by the police at Pudu Road.

The rain was getting heavier, when it was the heaviest, water cannon trucks, police trucks and the FRU sped down from Bukit Bintang junction. The crowd fled for their lives, dashing to the nearest place they could hide. My friend and I fled into the small lane next to Tung Shin Hospital. Almost immediately we carefully moved back and peeped.

The atmosphere was too tense, and police were moving up and down Pudu Road. Water cannons and tear gas were fired, and even hospitals were not spared. Many people had fled into Tung Shin Hospital and Chinese Maternity Hospital. As police were hunting for the participants in the hospitals, some of them risked their lives by scaling wire-barbed walls and in order to cross to the other side where I was.

We helped them.

I got numbed, and I thought why in the world the police wanted to treat us like criminals and terrorists?

What wrong had we done?

We were peacefully people who just wanted to make petitions for a fair and clean electoral system!

Marched by five-star hotels

More people had joined us at the lane. Some guys asked and directed us to go to Bukit Nanas. Some people were being dispersed by the attack just now and they did not get to connect with us again, but we still had a long queue of people, say, maybe at least 10,000 people, right? We’re really marching in procession now, and this was not our original plan. We passed by residential areas, Ampang road, and Raja Raja Chulan Road.

Wow, there were so many five-star hotels and commercial buildings along the way, and the procession had attracted many foreign tourists, staff and the passers-by. They stood outside their buildings, and many of them were busy taking pictures and videos!

That was definitely one more way God was helping us!

Those spectators would certainly spread the news back home. As we marched we repeatedly shouted slogans such as “Bersih Bersih, Pilihan Raya (clean clean, general elections); Bangkit Rakyat (Rise up People).” At this time, many police had just looked on, there were no actions from them, and perhaps they did not want the tourists to see the negative image of the Malaysian police force, right?

kl convention centreFinally, we marched to the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (KLCC) Square, next to the Twin Towers. It was already 4.00 pm. We all sat down, and several leaders gave their speeches for about 20 minutes. Suddenly the police pounced on the people from KLCC side, and everybody rose up and fled. Many people were arrested! This time people were scattered in different directions. So the people dismissed themselves.

Wow, our group had walked 20 kilometers, right?

By now my Pastor friend and I had to walk back to our room before we headed off to the KTM station. We only came to know about the situations of gatherings in other places later.

If we estimated that there were 50,000 people on that day, it was not something exaggerating.

If not because the authorities had used all means and avenues to suppress the rally, we could have several fold more in the crowd.

I got home at 9.00 pm. After a shower, as I sat down relaxing, I felt a cleaner atmosphere that was engulfing Malaysia. One of the major achievements of the rally was the elimination of fears in most of the hearts of Malaysians. Those who did not participate would be inspired by the big crowd, and subsequently they were awakened! Malaysians will be more positive now in upholding the Federal Constitutional right in freedom of assembly.

The success of the Bersih 2.0 Rally was just the beginning, now the real mission is to pursue on in making sure that the Government get the 8-point petition done. For any electoral candidates, it is only a true victory when their seats were won through fair and clean elections.

It was clearly the People Power that had enabled the success in this rally. I knew my involvement in activism is worthwhile. I had contributed a little effort for the sons of Malaysia. And now I can also tell my children that I cared for their future, and I took to the streets for my next generation!

email allan tan

Pentecost History

And the Need of Drawing Resources from Fresh Fire

img

At this Pentecost (May 31) season, many Pentecostals mourned the passing away of Rolf McPherson. Pentecost history will remember him as a man of faith in Modern-day Pentecostalism.The Pentecostals worldwide celebrated Azusa Street Centennial in Los Angeles three
years ago. With the outpouring of the Holy Spirit one hundred years ago, many Christians had their passion renewed.

 

They began to read the first Pentecostal experience at the resurrection of the Lord in the second chapter of Acts with a different perspective.Yes, for centuries, the Church had lost track with the power of the Holy Spirit
img
as recorded in the book of Acts. Thank God that by centennial He has raised and anointed a number of Generals for His Kingdom.

img

It is noteworthy that God began to bring women into public ministry. In fact the first astounding display of Glossalalia (utterances of tongue) was given to a lady.

It traced back to 5 years before the Azusa Revival.

That is, on 1st January, 1901, when Pastor Charles Parham laid hand and prayed for a lady Bible School student by the name of Agnez Ozman, she spoke in a foreign tongue.For three days consecutively she spoke in Mandarin which she had never learnt. She even could not speak her own mother tongue of English over that period of time.
img
Prior to the Azusa Revival, women were not allowed to take the forefront ministry. 

However, when new denominations were formed after the Azusa Revival, God moved greatly among the sisters in Christ who were on fire for souls. Denominations like The Assemblies of God and Foursquare Gospel had even sent out many women missionaries.

Women who made an impact in Pentecost history include Aimee Semple McPherson and Kathryn Kuhlman

Both of them ministered under the anointing of the Holy Spirit. God confirmed His Words with signs and miracles.

Aimee

Kathrynkuhlman

I am interested in Church histories.

The Bible itself is a History Book. I am also interested in visiting historical sites. Histories will remind us about the faithfulness of God, as well as the successes and failures of God’s saints. Histories served as a mirror for us to reflect so as to make comparisons. No doubt the Holy Spirit by His own sovereignty will move in diverse manners in different ages. Nevertheless, by comparing we allowed ourselves to thirst for more portions of His anointing.The Holy Spirit today is the same Spirit in the days of Acts.

The difference is that we need to move out from history. Do not draw our resources from old fire of the book, but from fresh fire of everyday living in the Lord. So make this Pentecost the most meaningful ever in your Christian walk with God. For many, the Holy Spirit has already come upon us and thus received His power. Yes, we always liked to plead for signs and miracles.

But the ultimate purpose of power enduing upon us is for us to become a powerful witness for Christ.

img

email allan tan

40th Anniversary of “May 13th”

It was 40 years passed now! I am referring to the May 13 Racial Riots in Malaysia. In this 40th Anniversary of May 13, it is not a time of celebrations, but instead it is a time of reflection.

Where were you 40 years ago on that day? I was then a Remove Class student with Sekolah Menengah Jenis Kebangsaan (National Type Secondary School), Kepong.

 Pastor Allen Tan (Yew Fook)
I was in the afternoon class. Our class teacher was enthusiast of football. We had our PE classes twice a week at the last period. He used to work “overtime” by making the boys play football till into the dark. And we even played in the rain sometimes. We enjoyed the games. In the evening on May 13 which was a Tuesday, as usual we played into the night.

Soon after I reached home, my family members picked up the news from the street and told us about “Pai Wah” was taking place at Chow Kit Road. They claimed that Malays and Chinese were killing each other there. “Pai Wah” is a Cantonese term for “massacre of Chinese”. Vehicles heading towards Kuala

The government imposed a nation-wide curfew that evening with immediate effect. I had never understood what “curfew” was till I was told to confine myself at home. Kepong was only 10 miles away from Kampong Baru at Chow Kit Road where the racial riots broke out.

Despite the proximity, Kepong was peaceful. For the next few days when the curfew was lifted for two hours so that people could shop for their groceries. On the streets, as usual, I met the familiar and friendly Kepong Policemen, both Malay and Chinese, who would smile at you.

And I began to wonder why a racial conflict when Malays, Chinese and Indians lived harmoniously all the while? In the schools we of different races studied together, ate together, played together, and even went camping together. I remembered there were public rallies during the General Election period that year. Those days quite often we would wake up in the mornings and found paintings on Kepong main road asking people to boycott the election.

A Chinese youth from the Labor Party was shot dead for some reason. On the eve of the poll a large funeral procession with a crowd of thousands of people was passing by Kepong Road, but unfortunately mom prevented me from joining the procession. Hostile sentiments among the Chinese towards the authority were high. Somehow I sensed an evil omen was looming large.

That was only an isolated case which had not enough force to trigger a racial riot. What then was the cause? The first Prime Minister of Malaysia, Tunku abdul Rahman, himself has alleged, “You know Harun was one of those – Harun, Mahathir, Ghazali Shafie – who were all working with Razak to oust me, to take over my place…”:1)“K. Das and Tunku tapes”, edited by Kua Kia Soong, SIRD 2002: 112

Of course the official version of May 13 puts the blame on the opposition parties. The results of the General Election on May 10 shook the status quo of the Alliance. They had been holding a two third majority control since Independence.

The Oppositions celebrated their victory on the nights of May 11 and 12.“The following day, the events that followed would tend to suggest that elements within UMNO (United Malays National Organization) had laid plans to teach a lesson to those who would challenge the predominance of UMNO.2)May 13”, Kua Kia Soong, 2007: 43 :

The roots of the racial riots of May 13 will remain a mystery as long as the government is not open to put them into history. There have been books on the incidents banned. Due to ignorance of history by the public, often time May 13 had become a good tool for politicians from the ruling coalition to instill fears to the dissidents. For 40 years the spirit of May 13 had been haunting Malaysians. Take for example, last year on March 8 polling night, streets were deserted when news broke that Barisan Nasional (National Front) had suffered big losses!

I have witnessed how Malaysia fared these 40 years. What had transpired in my country was an utter disappointment.

Leaders eroded the Constitution and Judiciary for political and selfish gain. The integrity as well as the dignity of the Royal Police Force has fallen to the deepest valley. There were also opportunists who played the race-cards for their political advancement.

Malaysia had been exemplary in her racial harmony in the eyes of the world until May 13, 1969. In the Biblical context, 40 years speak of one generation. The old generation has faded eventually and the new one has come. Therefore, it is high time for us to be free from the trauma. Malaysians need to come to a national reconciliation. Let us put down that baggage of racial disunity.

However, just as what Dr. Kua has mentioned, “There is a need for a Special Commission to unearth the truth of the 1969 racial riots before there can be a genuine national reconciliation.” (“May 13”, 2007: 9). Yes we need to break that curse of May 13! If not, racial discrimination will be an issue which will haunt the country unceasingly. No one can change history. If Malaysia were to progress, we must face the truth in history so that we will not repeat the folly acts of our ancestors.

Now we have a young generation of people who are open to knowledge. Political Writer Dr. Azly Rahman said, “If we encourage our youth to explore the roots of the bloody conflict, we will have a better generation of thinkers. No more “Ketuanan Melayu (Malay Supremacy), China, India,” or whatsoever notions of self-aggrandizement – just the simple act of opening the dialogues of peace.”3)http://blog.limkitsiang.com/2007/05/19/wasmay-13-naturally-orchestrated/. May 13, 2009

email allan tan

References

↑ 1. “K. Das and Tunku tapes”, edited by Kua Kia Soong, SIRD 2002: 112
↑ 2. May 13”, Kua Kia Soong, 2007: 43
↑ 3. http://blog.limkitsiang.com/2007/05/19/wasmay-13-naturally-orchestrated/. May 13, 2009

A Good Friday Meditation on the Word

v21 But behold, the hand of him who betrays me is with me on the table. v22 For the Son of Man goes as it has been determined, but woe to that man by whom he is betrayed. Luke 22:21-22 It was the last supper of Jesus with his 12 disciples.

easter-clipby Pastor Allen Tan (Yew Fook)
The picture of being hailed as king on that particular “Palm” Sunday was still vivid in His mind. But He knew He will soon be left alone scaling up that Mount of Death – Calvary. His disciples will soon forsake Him. At last, only John was found standing by His dear mom’s side.

What broke His heart most was the betrayal by Judas. David had prophesied about this, “Even my close friend in whom I trusted, who ate my bread, has lifted his heel against me.” (Psalm 41:9). No, Jesus did not put a curse on Judas. When He said “woe to that man”, it could be any man, and Judas had a choice, he needed not be that “man”.

It was not the cross that brought Him pain but rather a friend’s betrayal that had inflicted Him much. He showed concern about Judas’ salvation. Nevertheless Judas had never made a U-turn.

In real life, some of us have also suffered betrayal by someone. Such thing will be more prominent in the last days. Paul said, “v1 But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. v2 For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, v3 heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, v4 treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, v5 having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.” (2 Tim 3:1-5).

The above characters are related to one another. Why is a person being treacherous?
Because he or she a lover of self, a lover of money, and is proud and arrogant. Don’t ever think that Paul was talking to the unbelievers. No, he was talking to people in the House of God. People of such description are to be seen everywhere, and the Church is of no exception.

We have seen enough saints making vain promises. They broke promises when material gains propped up along the way, thus friendship was sacrificed! In the last days, integrity is becoming less weighty than gold. Saints of God manifested an absolute character flaw. As a result, the Church was made a mockery by the world.

It was painful for the Lord to be betrayed.
A Bible commentator has suggested that Jesus was probably died of heart failure. Jesus, being painful over people’s hardness of hearts, bore all their burdens alone. He was forgiving about the wicked deeds of them all, including that of Judas. That probably speaks why Jesus gave up the ghost sooner than the two robbers. There was no forensic technology at that time, so no one will know the cause of His death. No matter how, sooner or later, Jesus would die being nailed. Even if He died of heart failure, He died on the cross. There is no doubt about that.

Finally, the gist of my story of meditation is that living a life of character flaw is impossible to please God.

If we have gone astray, let us make a U-turn now. If someone has hurt you, forgive him or her.

Jesus was Betrayed

email allan tan

Women & Azuza Revival

v1When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. v2 Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. v3 They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. v4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.(Act 2:1-4)

 

The Pentecostals worldwide celebrated Azusa Street Centennial in Los Angeles three years ago. With the outpouring of the Holy Spirit one hundred years ago, many Christians had their passion renewed.

Pastor Allen Tan (Yew Fook)
They began to read the first Pentecostal experience at the resurrection of the Lord in the second chapter of Acts with a different perspective. Yes, for centuries, the Church had lost track with the power of the Holy Spirit as recorded in the book of Acts.

Thank God that by centennial He has raised and anointed a number of Generals for His Kingdom. It is noteworthy that God began to bring women into public ministry. In fact the first astounding display of Glossalalia (utterances of tongue) was given to a lady. It traced back to 5 years before the Azusa Revival. That is, on 1st January, 1901, when Pastor Charles Parham laid hand and prayed for a lady Bible School student by the name of Agnez Ozman, she spoke in a foreign tongue. For three days consecutively she spoke in Mandarin which she had never learnt. She even could not speak her own mother tongue of English over that period of time.

Prior to the Azusa Revival, women were not allowed to take the forefront ministry. However, when new denominations were formed after the Azusa Revival, God moved greatly among the sisters in Christ who were on fire for souls. Denominations like The Assemblies of God and Foursquare Gospel had even sent out many women missionaries.

Women who made an impact in Pentecost history include Aimee Semple McPherson and Kathryn Kuhlman

Both of them ministered under the anointing of the Holy Spirit. God confirmed His Words with signs and miracles.

Aimee

Kathrynkuhlman

I am interested in Church histories. The Bible itself is a History Book. I am also interested in visiting historical sites. Histories will remind us about the faithfulness of God, as well as the successes and failures of God’s saints. Histories served as a mirror for us to reflect so as to make comparisons. No doubt the Holy Spirit by His own sovereignty will move in diverse manners in different ages. Nevertheless, by comparing we allowed ourselves to thirst for more portions of His anointing.

The Holy Spirit today is the same Spirit in the days of Acts. The difference is that we need to move out from history. Do not draw our resources from old fire of the book, but from fresh fire of everyday living in the Lord. So make this Pentecost the most meaningful ever in your Christian walk with God. For many, the Holy Spirit has already come upon us and thus received His power. Yes, we always liked to plead for signs and miracles.

But the ultimate purpose of power enduing upon us is for us to become a powerful witness for Christ.

email allan tan

Year of the Ox 牛

The Chinese would know that CNY (Chinese New Year) has a lot to do with superstition. Over the festive period the media in my country talked much about Feng Shui and the Chinese Astrology.

by Pastor Allen Tan (Yew Fook)
This year is the Year of Bull or Ox. In many shopping malls, a golden bull was set up for display. It reminded me of the sin of the Israelis during the exodus when they persuaded Aaron to build them a golden calf and subsequently worshipped it as their god.

The irony was, Moses was up on the mountain receiving the tablets of The Ten Commandments. The first two commandments God cautioned them that:

1 You shall have no other gods before Me; {Exodus 20:3}

2 You shall not make for yourself a carved image. {Exodus 20:4}

God knew beforehand what His people were about to do.

The golden bull has become an icon for the Chinese during CNY. They prayed that the bull will bring them lucks. By doing so they repeated the folly of the Israelis.

But the Chinese who traced their ancestry to Shem, one of Noah’s sons, worshipped Jehovah God when they first migrated to China. They created their language in pictorial forms. There are thousands of Chinese characters. Besides creating words based on the stories of Genesis, they received revelations from Him.

A few days ago I received the Rhema that the Year of Bull has some significance for the Chinese. I did not read this from any other source. You know the word [Bull] is made up of a Cross [+] carrying a Man [^] on its top. What does that speak? It speaks that when the children of God made the golden bull, they offended their Master. Consequently they needed Christ to carry them up. Christ is the way of redemption. By the way, you will discover that there are umpteen crosses [+] in the Chinese characters.

Again, another awesome Rhema I received was that the word Year [年] is made up of the bull carrying a Man [^] on its top. In the O.T., you read a lot about Bull Sacrifice during Israeli festivals. The bulls were sacrificed as a mean of sin redemption as well as festive celebrations. In the olden days of China, bulls were helpful animals for crop fields. Bulls, sheep and goats were slaughtered as sacrifices. When a Bull was sacrificed, it was not the Bull that gave forgiveness but God. The Chinese stopped eating beef when they embraced Buddhism. Beef is a forbidden food for its believers. But the people in Northern China where Buddhism is not prevailing are still consuming it.

As Christians we do not belong to any of the animals in the Chinese Zodiac.

We belonged to the Almighty God. God is the source of our blessing.

God really loves the Chinese.

He wanted to see the 1.3 billion Chinese souls come to salvation.

Our Lord Jesus is coming soon.

The economy downturn presently is one of the end-time signs.

Lastly, I wish you a Blessed Niu Year. (Incidentally, “new” is the word “ox” pronounced in Chinese).

email allan tan

The Seventh Prime Minister of Malaysia

The incumbent Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi is under pressure to quit by Oct 9. Several UMNO supreme council members have demanded Abdullah to step down now to “save him from the embarrassment” of not getting enough nominations for the UMNO presidency. The pressure on Abdullah may even be due to a more serious fear.

Pastor Allen Tan (Yew Fook)
The third Parliament sitting will resume on Oct 13, and the Opposition coalition, Pakatan Rakyat, may table the motion of no-confidence against Abdullah. UMNO puts high hope in Najib. After taking over the PM’s post, he will probably be able to win the confidence of Barisan Nasional MPs. But there is no guarantee that Najib is able to prevent his BN MPs from defecting.Many Malaysians used to talk about the alphabetical lineup for “RAHMAN”:

R – Tunku Abdul Rahman*
A – Abdul Razak
H – Hussein Onn
M – Mahathir mohamad
A – Abudullah Badawi
N – Najib Razak?

*But I don’t know why people used Tunku’s family name of “Raman” instead of his name “Abdul”.So could Najib be the sixth PM of Malaysia? In that case, before PR could have a chance to take over power, a change of leadership will first take place within UMNO? Then would Anwar Ibrahim become the seventh PM then?

I pointed out this thing because many people put high hope on Anwar in bringing about reform to our politics, judiciary, economy, royal police force and Anti-Corruption Agency. Moreover Anwar vows to do away with racial politics. People also hope that the new PR government would clean up corruption and do away with those “Acts” that have violated human rights.

Thus eventually the country will move into justice and fairness.Some three months ago Pastor Henry K. Pillai sent out a book called “Malaysia, the Rainbow Nation of Asia” (Publisher: High Calling Outreach Publications, 2007) to many Ministers of God.

The author, Steve Ogan, is residing in Nigeria. He spent quite a long period of time in Malaysia studying about this country.Why do I talk about the seventh Prime Minister at this moment? I do it so that you can have a clearer idea to pray according to God’s will and timing.

The number “7” is very significant to Malaysia:

  • God’s complete number – 7
  • The rainbow – 7 colors
  • Malaya became independent on 31.8.1957, and these numbers add up together – 7
  • The word MERDEKA – 7 letters
  • Tunku Abdul Rahman proclaimed the word MERDEKA – 7 times
  • Tunku Abdul Rahman – the 7th son of a Malay Sultan
  • The points of star in the Malaysia flag – 14 (double of 7)
  • The stripes in the Malaysia flag – 14 (double of 7) – Red stripes – 7 – White stripes – 7

For your interest, let me quote a portion from the book I mentioned (with permission from the publisher in Malaysia, John Nelson Cooray).

Subtitle: MALAYSIA AS A RAINBOW ARK (pages 46-47):

“God designed Malaysia as a Rainbow Ark of mercy and grace – a place where people with the rainbow character of Noah will make room for both the clean and unclean. Noah was described as perfect. Seven is the number of perfection and there are seven colors in the rainbow. Consequently, Noah had a rainbow character.God’s will is that all the leaders of Malaysia will have a rainbow character. The five Prime Ministers of Malaysia since independence have at least one point or the other demonstrated this character. But there will come the seventh Prime Minister who will be the supreme embodiment of beauty and balance, mercy and grace.

He will bring the rainbow nation to a height never known before. He will carry the heart of Noah with the colorful disposition of the rainbow. The seventh Prime Minister of Malaysia will carry the grace of all his five predecessors in an amazing combination. He will manifest the jubilee grace with the capacity of bringing Malaysia into a new season of release, rest and restoration. Because of the significance of his leadership profile there will be an intensive contest for the position of the seventh Prime Minister of Malaysia.”The book is really prophetic.

These are some of the possibilities:

1. Abdullah will pass the baton to Najib before the next Parliament session, i.e. before Oct 13.

2. Abdullah will not contest in UMNO election. Traditionally the DPM, Najib, will take over.

3. Some people said our DPM’s full name is Mohamad Najib bin Abdul Razak. If it is so, he does not fit in the letter of “N” in the word “RAHMAN”. Then someone from UMNO will succeed Abdullah.

4. BN under the leadership of the sixth PM (Najib?) only survives for a short period of time, as PR would soon be successful in seizing government. Then Anwar will be the seventh PM?

5. PR is successful in seizing government before Abdullah could pass his baton to someone else. Then Anwar will be the sixth PM.

6. PR is not successful in seizing government. And in the next General Election, BN will lose its power to PR.

Then Anwar will be the seventh PM?

Let us pray! God will bless Malaysia.

God has already prepared someone who will be the seventh PM of Malaysia. Malaysia, A Truly Rainbow Nation of Asia! Malaysians will bring redemption to all the people in Asia.September 28,, 2008

Addendum September 26, 2008

I wrote the following article on Sep 20. After a few days there were new developments. Nevertheless, it will not affect my purpose of conveying a message that “The Seventh Prime Minister of Malaysia” should be noted by Christians who showed concerns about Malaysia. Among all component parties of BN, UMNO is the most undemocratic party.

The harm was caused by Mahathir who amended UMNO by-law that the president’s seat requires a 30% nomination from divisions. Added to these, the both Mahathir and Abdullah were calling for nil-contest for the 2 highest posts with the excuse of so-called “party unity”. Despite Abdullah has become utterly unpopular, he was unwilling to step down and pass the baton. But would the people be able to accept Najib as their PM?

Many people who wanted a change would hope that PR would be able to take over power soonest possible. If not, at least they could see an open contest for presidency in UMNO election. Postponing party election not only deprived the grassroots’ rights, but will worsen the country’s economies when many more FDI will abandon their investments.

For the past few months RM125b FDI were pull out from our markets. In July the inflation rate was 8.5%, highest in 27 years.

Now the question is:

Will the authority put Anwar in jail over the sodomy charges?

Does God have a purpose to ordain him as The Seventh PM instead of The Sixth one?

email allan tan