Friday, 19 December 2014

To convert or not to convert? That is the question!

Some of us in Malaysia are not aware of the implications of converting from one's religion to Islam. People do so for a variety of reasons, but before one does so, it is necessary for one to be aware of what one is getting oneself into, as the saying goes: Look before you leap. Note that this only applies to Malaysia, since other countries may have different variances or applications.

Thus, I have reproduced an article from the Herald (Catholic Weekly), published by the Archbishop of Kuala Lumpur on 14 Aug 2005, for your information, understanding, continuing education, reference and awareness. The article is as follows:

If you convert to Islam, there are important changes in your legal status and what you can or cannot do. Your conversion to Islam will be registered with the Religious Department and the National Registration Department, both of which are computerised, so that access to this information is available throughout the country.

Under Syariah enactments of most of the 13 States of Malaysia:

  1. Conversion back to your former religion is either (a) not allowed under the law, or (b) a criminal offence which means you may be fined, whipped, detained or imprisoned under most State Islamic laws.
  2. If you are under 18 years of age, you require your parent's permission to convert to Islam.
  3. Your identity card will record your conversion to Islam. Therefore, even if you are no longer practising Islam, you may be fined, whipped, detained or imprisoned for violation of Syariah laws, such as praying in church, eating in public during fasting month, khalwat etc.
  4. You cannot marry a non-Muslim. If you decide to divorce and attempt to convert out of Islam, you will lose custody of your children because they are Muslims.
  5. Upon death, your non-Muslim relatives will lose their rights to any money, property, etc. that you want to leave to them. The corpse of a convert to Islam will be taken away from his or her non-Muslim family for Islamic rites and burial even if you have not been a practising Muslim for many years.
  6. In the event that your spouse converts to Islam, you may have no right to either your children or your spouse's property.
We know that certain Christians who convert to Islam for whatever reasons, are not aware of or do not consider seriously the implications of such conversion.

Hence the need to inform you. By this, we are neither against Islam nor freedom of religion, which is guaranteed for all Malaysians in Article 11 of our Constitution which give the right to an individual to freely choose his or her religion.

But to choose correctly, you need to know clearly what you choose and the consequences of your choice.

The above was a letter that appeared in The Herald (The Catholic Weekly) on Aug 14, 2005. It was signed by Archbishop Murphy Pakiam, Bishop Antony Selvanayagam and Bishop Paul Tan, SJ. Reprinted with permission.

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Do we hear? Or do we listen?

Hear and listen are verbs we use when we refer to our sense of hearing - using our ears. But they have significant differences in meaning.

When we hear, it simply means that sounds come into our ears. Hearing is to physically experience the sense of sound. As long as one's ear and brain are capable of processing sound waves, one can hear. It may not be deliberate. We hear so many different things throughout our lives, throughout each day. When we listen, we try to hear. It involves effort and concentration. We pay attention and try to understand every sound. It is to deliberately apply the ability to hear. One who listens is thinking about what is heard, what it means, how to respond, and whether to continue to listen/pay attention.

In our spiritual life, we sometimes get too distracted. We are bombarded with all sorts of noises. We have so many things to do, so many issues to face, that our focus becomes divided. The Lord may be prompting us, talking to us, inviting us and beckoning us to sit by His side and listen to His words, just as Mary sat by His side while her sister Martha scurried about with so many things to do. Are we too concerned about things, about ourselves, to listen to Him? Have we become so task-oriented, that His voice is drowned out or ignored or inaudible? The Lord is inviting us to listen to His soothing words; words that nourish our soul; words that give us strength; words that help us grow closer to Him. Let us not waste the many opportunities God has given us to enjoy His company and presence.

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Dressing Modestly and with Decorum in Church - A Wedding Drama

Every once in a while, I come across couples planning for their wedding and in some instances, the bride then asks whether she could dress a little more stylo milo in one of those modern wedding gowns. The bride is advised to dress modestly and conservatively, since the wedding is taking place in church and a certain amount of decorum is expected. After all, you wouldn't wear shorts and t-shirt, or some other inappropriate clothing, when you go to a banquet or attend a function where a VIP (Very Important Person), Dignitaries or members of Royalty, are present. So, in church, one should dress modestly, properly and appropriately.

However, sometimes I come across a bride who "berdegil" or is stubborn.

At one wedding day, a bride came dressed in a round neck strapless sleeveless wedding gown (similar to the wedding gown of this picture), supported only with don't know what item together with her upper anatomy (possibly trying to show off certain parts). As she was walking down the aisle, all of a sudden, the upper part of her wedding gown gave way and the whole thing dropped down. It seems that the poor lady was not wearing anything inside and everything above her waist was revealed. I quickly closed my eyes and looked elsewhere, not wanting to see the consequence of the clothing malfunction, but the cameras and video recorders, I am told, caught the whole sequence of revelation.

Naturally, the poor bride was red with embarrassment and in tears. Her mother at least had the presence of mind to get her husband's coat and cover up the poor bride. Then the sobbing bride was led away. The wedding certainly could not continue till a later date.

So, if you are planning for your wedding, just be mindful that unexpected situations could occur. As some may say, "malang tidak berbau" or "kejatuhan tidak boleh disangka" (loosely translated as "calamnity or accidents cannot be predicted and may happen"). Dress properly and modestly in church, as it is a sacred place and God's dwelling, and not some concert hall, fashion show or opera house. Later at some other place such as the wedding dinner or banquet, you want to dress shockalingam or stylo milo, that is up to you.

Thursday, 3 July 2014





让我们反省一下,在爱别人时是否真心相对?或者只是把他们当着普通朋友一般,缺少一 颗诚恳的愛心呢?

Wednesday, 25 June 2014





  • 对他人起了非分的想法。
  • 贪图他人的丈夫或妻子。
  • 不择手段的想把人物或事物占为己有。
  • 故意毁坏别人的财物。





Friday, 13 June 2014




  • 以不同的方式欺骗自己或他人。
  • 诽谤他人的名誉。
  • 诋毁别人。
  • 为了自己的利益或其它理由,而做人身攻击。
  • 诋毁人格或声誉。
  • 讲是非,草率下定论,口是心非,秋后算账,轻蔑言论。
  • 不能守秘密。

Wednesday, 21 May 2014




  • 通过别人的帮助,你直接或间接地偷。
  • 直接或间接毁坏他人财物。
  • 不还清所欠下的账目(例如:信用卡账目到期不付账,或是逃税)
  • 不归还找到的或是借来的东西(尤其是我们知道物主是谁),有些情况是不知道物 主的,就是知道,当事人可能当作没有一回事那样,把东西收藏着。
  • 在买卖时,使用不公平的方法。
  • 没有付出公平的工资(付出少过协议中所规定的或没有给工人应得的数目或无理 地扣押工资。)实行或助他人进行贿赂。
  • 实行或助他人进行贪污。
  • 以各种方式欺骗他人。
  • 私下或帮助他人设下骗局。
  • 收买贼赃。
  • 工作时偷懒而拉长时间,为了得到更多的工资。
  • 不遵守合约又没有提出适当的理由。
  • 还有一大堆其他事项。。。。。。。。。






Tuesday, 13 May 2014




  • 曾经在思,言,行为上与他人的太太或丈夫有暧昧的关系。
  • 观看和别人分享黄色影片,不道德的戏剧或阅读黄色书本。
  • 讲述黄色性的话题。
  • 私自享受暧昧的思想和行为 或和他人分享。
  • 自行或鼓励自慰,通奸,同性恋,乱伦,兽交,娈童癖。
  • 自己或与他人在言行,外表或穿着方面不雅观。


Tuesday, 6 May 2014




  • 预谋杀害另外一个人。
  • 尝试自尽或自杀,或唆使别人自杀。
  • 堕胎或是替她人堕胎。
  • 自行安乐死或替别人实现安乐死。
  • 自己应用避孕丸或教他人应用人工避孕法。
  • 自行绝育或使他人绝育。
  • 鼓励或应用人工受孕法。(从丈夫或其它捐精者与卵子用试管授精后,把胚胎植入女人胎中。致以其它的胚胎,看环境所需,分配捐给有需要的妇女或被消灭。)
  • 鼓励或复制和牵连到的人工受孕法。
  • 危害自己或他人生命或肢体;包刮危险性的虚张声势和好出风头。
因为制造厮杀,愤怒,怀恨,仇恨和坏榜样而造成自己或他人的死亡。 今天的社会,越来越多人鼓吹死亡的文化;就因为缺乏道德观念,弱者的生命被取决于强者;而一些人就成为别人的工具(Envangelium Vitae3,12)。


Tuesday, 29 April 2014



  • 怀恨父母和长辈。
  • 遗弃,生气和侮辱年迈父母。
  • 侮辱,不遵从或不听从父母或是法定长辈们的指示。

Tuesday, 15 April 2014




  • 无缘无故地缺席主日弥撒。
  • 做工怠慢。
  • 实行多余的公开买卖。
  • 其它能够阻止你守主日的事项。
我们应该记着,每个主日教友到圣堂参与弥撒是为了要得到主耶稣祝福。既然天主“用了六天的时间来实践祂的工作而在第七天休息了”,人们的生活也应该有工作和休息的节奏。建立主日的原因就是为了要让人们有足够的时间,尽量地享受文化,社交,天伦及宗教上的生活乐趣。 人的一生不只是追求事业,财富,名利,地位和梦想而已。更不希望将来有一天你才后悔而发现,在百忙中更应该与他人和主修好关系。我们是否愿意照照镜子,让镜中的你作出一定的改变呢?

Wednesday, 9 April 2014




  • 当我们言行亵渎天主圣名或圣物时;例如:“哦,我的天啊,你为何那么愚蠢?”或是一些类似的言语。
  • 口出粗言或秽语(诅咒,发誓,或用其它侮辱的字眼:不便逐一列明)。
  • 做出不明智或是无谓的宣誓或誓言,不守誓言或无法履行誓言者。

箴言21:23 提醒我们:“谨守口与舌的,就可以保住自己免受很多灾难。”



Friday, 21 March 2014




  • 任何受造生物(除天主之外,任何人)或受造物(如:太阳,月亮,星星,“地球”)或者是一些东西(雕像或形象),除了朝拜天主之外,又把这些东西当着神明来供奉者。
  • 迷信或是相信招魂术,降头,占星术,风水论,巫师,占星,算命,看掌纹者。
  • 直接尝试与亡者魂魄沟通或者通过其它媒介者。
  • 参与任形式的邪教活动者。
  • 妄用任何神圣的东西,参与和朝拜异端者。
  • 草率地下结论和绝望者。
  • 为了世间的荣华富贵,名望地位和各种凡间的乐趣,而弃绝天主教的信仰者。


Wednesday, 12 March 2014


  • 第一诫: 除了我,你们的天主之外,你不可有别的神。
  • 第二诫:不可 随意妄称天主圣名。
  • 第三诫:应当纪念安息日,并守为圣日或主日。
  • 第四诫:应当孝敬父母。
  • 第五诫:不可杀害他人。
  • 第六诫:不可奸淫。
  • 第七诫:不可偷盗。
  • 第八诫:不可作假见证陷害人。
  • 第九诫:不可垂涎别人的妻子。
  • 第十诫:不可贪图别人的财物。
假如我们仔细阅读,就可以把十诫规划成为两条重要的诫命:爱天主在万有之上(第一至第三)和 大家互相爱护(其余的七条诫命)(马窦 22:37—40)。天主颁给我们十条诫命并非要剥夺人类的自由或乐趣。反而,祂在教导我们如何在世上活的更有意义。既然,天主要我们生活的更有规律,那麽就让我们好好地听天主的话,和祂建立更好的关系,也不忽略和周遭人的情谊。

Thursday, 20 February 2014

Act of Contrition: A Requirement in the Sacrament of Reconciliation

A person must have a contrite heart for the sacrament of Reconciliation to be effective. A contrite heart expresses repentance, without which there can be no forgiveness of sin. Thus, the act of contrition was formulated to express the thoughts of such a contrite heart. It is a requirement of the Sacrament.

When people go for confession, some may have forgotten how to recite the "Act of Contrition" prayer. It is best if people can recite this prayer from the heart, but for those of us who are becoming less able to remember things, here are some "Act of Contrition" prayers to recite. You may wish to write one down or print it out for you to keep and bring around, so that it is convenient for you to take it out and recite when you go for confession.

In English (Choose one only)
  1. O, my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended you. I detest all my sins because of your just punishment, but most of all because they offend you, my God, who are all-good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve, with the help of Your grace, to sin no more and to avoid the near occasion of sin.
  2. O My God, I am very sorry that I have sinned against you; Because you are so good and with your help I will not sin again.
In BM (This prayer is for BM-speaking Catholics only) (Pilih satu sahaja)
  1. Allah yang Maharahim, aku menyesal atas dosa-dosaku, sebab patut aku Engkau hukum, terutama sebab aku telah menghina Engkau yang Mahamurah dan Mahabaik bagiku. Aku benci akan segala dosaku dan berjanji dengan pertolongan rahmat-Mu hendak memperbaiki hidupku dan tidak akan berbuat dosa lagi. Ya Allah, kasihanilah aku, orang yang berdosa ini. Amin.
  2. Allahku, dengan seluruh hatiku aku menyesali dosa-dosaku. Dengan berbuat jahat aku lalai untuk berbuat baik. Aku telah berdosa terhadap Engkau, yang seharusnya kucintai di atas segala-galanya. Dengan bantuan-Mu aku berjanji untuk tidak berdosa lagi, untuk bertobat, dan menghindari apa saja yang dapat menjerumuskan aku ke dalam dosa. Amin.
In Mandarin (选一个)
  1. 天主,为了我所犯的一切罪过,和我应做而没有尽到的本分,我全心痛悔,因为我得罪了你,极仁慈的天主。现在,依靠你圣宠的助佑,我决心悔改,善作补赎,愿永远生活在您的爱里。阿门。
  2. 我的天主,我的慈父,我犯罪得罪了您,很觉惭愧,也真心痛悔。 因为我辜负了您的慈爱,妄用了您的恩宠。 我今定志,宁死再不得罪您,并尽力躲避犯罪的机会,我的天主,求您垂怜我,宽赦我。阿门。
  3. 主,耶稣基督,你是除免世罪的天主羔羊,求你籍着神的恩宠,恢复我与圣父间的关系;在你为我所流的圣血中,洗净我的一切罪污;并为你圣名的光荣,赐给我新生。阿门。
  4. 吾主耶稣,基利斯督,造我养我,救我的主。 我重罪人,得罪天主。 今特为爱天主在万有之上,真心痛悔,恼恨我罪,决意定改,宁死再不敢犯天主的诫命,恳望吾主,念尔受难之功,可怜赦我的罪。阿门。

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Exchanging 5 c's for 2 c's

Living on this earth can be a struggle and a challenge. We face different obstacles along the way and sometimes, we feel as if we are being pulled in different directions. On the one hand, we need to make a living to survive. On the other hand, we also need to maintain a good spiritual relationship with God. What do we do? What are we looking for?

Some of us may be tempted in different degrees and at one point or another to pursue the 5c's: Cash, Card, Club, Condominium, Car. We see how others seem to be prospering and enjoying themselves and we may desire to be like these other people. However, in some cases, achieving such wealth and status may take a long time or may not be reachable to some. When faced with such obstacles, some of us may not be patient or content, and we may give in to less savoury methods to attain what we want. The question is this: is it really worth pursuing all these things in the long run? Will we be ever happy or content with what we have?

Jesus reminds us: "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also" (Matthew 6:19-21).

While we need to survive in this world, let us also take time to ponder what we really want, what really matters, what really makes us happy and content. We are pilgrims in this world, and everything that we own, everything that we value, will one day be lost. We cannot cling on to what we have forever, and we certainly cannot bring these things with us when we die. We are constantly given opportunities by our loving God to be less dependent on the 5c's and embrace 2c's: Christ and the Cross. Embracing the 2c's may not be easy, as we may suffer or be ridiculed by others. People may say that we are crazy or silly, especially as the world seems to offer so much. However, let us not give up, let us persevere, for what we seek is not found in this temporal world. Are you willing to really take up your cross and follow Christ?

"Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up" (Galatians 6:9).

"Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten days. Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life" (Revelation 2:10).

"Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him" (James 1:12).

Thursday, 16 January 2014

Advent or Lent Penitential Service: Some Observations

During each Advent or Lent Penitential Service, several matters keep cropping up and I feel it is necessary to take heart:

1. Come early. Some priests come from quite a distance and if that priest is the one you are comfortable going to, coming late means you might "miss" him. Moreover, coming early gives you more time to prepare yourself to make a good confession.

2. If you have young children with you, please get your spouse or someone you can trust to keep an eye on them and hold on to them if necessary so that you and others can make a good confession in peace. Some young children may be hyperactive and start running around, which may cause distraction to others who are praying or reflecting.

3. Be brief when confessing. The priest wants to hear your sins, not the elaborate historical background to what led you to sin.

4. Confess your sins, not other people's. Some folks come for confession and start complaining about their husband, wife, children, etc. The priest is not interested in listening to your gossip.

5. Reflect carefully before going for confession. In this way, you can discover what sins you committed, especially serious ones.

6. Stay calm and focused. Don't get distracted with other matters before, during and after confession.

7. Be courteous. This is especially important when parking your vehicle or waiting your turn for confession. Don't cause other people to sin due to your behaviour or attitude. For example, when you arrive, park your vehicle properly as there may be other people coming later. Some folks have double-parked or parked indiscriminately and caused others to fume in disgust.

8. Remember the procedure. If you cannot remember how to make a good confession, the priest will guide you. However, it is better to know what to do and what to say, so that the confession can go on smoothly, instead of holding up other people.

9. Try to control your emotions. We know that some of you may cry due to feelings of guilt, embarrassment, etc. But the confessional is not meant to be a counselling session. I have seen some people come, and while confessing start raining down buckets. If you are experiencing such strong emotions, it may be better and necessary that you seek counselling later.

10. After confession and spending some time in prayer, leave peacefully. Don't loiter around the church too long, especially where parking space is limited, so that others can park and go for confession.

There may be other issues not mentioned in this list, but we hope that all faithful would take note so that the Advent or Lent Penitential Service could proceed smoothly for the spiritual growth and betterment of all..

Friday, 10 January 2014

The Ten Commandments: 9th & 10th Commandment: Don't Covet Other Person or Thing

9th Commandment: "You shall not covet your neighbour's wife"
10th Commandment: "You shall not covet your neighbour's goods"

What is coveting? Coveting is a desire or yearning to possess or have something or someone. If what we covet is obtained through legal, proper, justifiable means, then that is not an issue. The problem begins when we covet persons or things which belong to someone else, and that someone is unwilling or unable to part with the person or thing.

If we have:
  • Unchaste or impure thoughts towards another person
  • Desire of another person's wife or husband
  • Desire to take or keep wrongfully
  • Wilfully damage property that belongs to another
then we could be breaking this commandment.

Among the many passages from the bible concerning coveting, here are some for us to reflect on:
  • "But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death" (James 1:14-15).
  • "Woe to those who devise wickedness and work evil on their beds! When the morning dawns, they perform it, because it is in the power of their hand. They covet fields and seize them, and houses, and take them away; they oppress a man and his house, a man and his inheritance. Therefore thus says the Lord: behold, against this family I am devising disaster, from which you cannot remove your necks, and you shall not walk haughtily, for it will be a time of disaster. In that day they shall take up a taunt song against you and moan bitterly, and say, “We are utterly ruined; he changes the portion of my people; how he removes it from me! To an apostate he allots our fields.” Therefore you will have none to cast the line by lot in the assembly of the Lord..." (Micah 2:1-13).
  • "For the wicked boasts of his heart's desire, And the greedy man curses and spurns the LORD" (Psalm 10:3).
Passion and desire, when used and nurtured properly can be used to accomplish great things and give glory to God. When we misuse passion for personal gratification and gain, we may end up committing far heinous sins. Let us take care not to covet unhealthily only to ruin our lives and our relationship with God.

For the wicked boasts of his heart's desire, And the greedy man curses and spurns the LORD. - See more at:

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

The Ten Commandments: 8th Commandment: Don't Lie Lah

"You shall not bear false witness"

A lie is a lie, regardless whether it is white, black, yellow, orange or whatever. Some people lie to get out of an uncomfortable situation. Some lie because they do not want others to know their true self. Some lie because they want to gain prestige and importance. Some lie to save one's own skin from persecution or danger. Others lie for some other reason or another. There are even people who are habitual liars, making them undependable for court and for other important matters.

If we have:
  • Lied to oneself and to others, in one form or another
  • Injured the good name of others
  • Slandered others
  • Committed character assassination of others through our words for one's personal gain or for some other reason
  • Committed detraction (derogatory or damaging comment on a person's character or reputation) 
  • Told tales, made rash judgment, commited backbiting, uttered contemptuous speech
  • Not kept secrets
then we could be breaking this commandment.

Are we wise and discerning enough to hold our tongue and be truthful at all times, even if the truth may hurt? Are we able to say what is necessary and when necessary, instead of trying to please others and make them happy? Jesus reminded us: "If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” Are we dependent on Jesus who has come to free us with the truth?

BO and MO during Confession?

Among the many challenges a padre has to put up with when it comes to confession, one which is just as potent and potentially pengsan-able...