Next: The PAC’s investigation into Bishop Albert Vun’s Abusive Behaviours (Part II) will be published this Thursday, 13 March, 8pm.
The following is a statement from the Legal Task Force.
Dear Anglican Brothers & Sisters In Christ,
Thank you all very much for your generous contributions in response to the appeal for funds towards the Court action taken to protect and defend our Anglican Diocese of Sabah from further damage. The House of Bishops’ nominal and token action has not helped at all. In fact, the crisis in Sabah is deepening further.
To-date, we have collected RM32,035.00. We have paid the legal costs of RM15,000.00 to the lawyer of the House of Bishops and also paid a sum of RM3,000.00 to our lawyer to cover all expenses for filing fees for the High Court case and also for filing the Notice of Appeal to preserve the right to appeal to the Court of Appeal. The available balance to-date is RM14,035.00.
We want to issue official receipts to all who have contributed. However, some contributors have not given sufficient details for us to identify and issue receipts to them. Therefore we would appreciate very much, if you had made a deposit but have yet to receive an acknowledgement or receipt, to let us know the date of your deposit, the amount, your name and your email or postal address where the receipt can be sent to. Please do not send any information by mms. Our contact remains the same and it is as follows:
Fax No. 088-237663
Email Address: email@example.com
SMS: 6012 837 6927
We need your response as soon as possible so that we can prepare a comprehensive account as a firm accountability and good management or governance is very important.
Meanwhile we like to explain here that the cost of appealing to the Appeals Court is estimated to be between RM 30,000.00 to RM 50,000.00 At this stage we have only filed the Notice of Appeal which will give us an option of 60 days to decide whether to go ahead or to drop it.
If we can collect another RM20,000.00 by 31st March 2014, and together with the balance of some RM 14,000.00 in our balance, then we will feel financially adequate for the appeal at the Court of Appeal to proceed. However, if we cannot achieve this target by 31st. March 2014, we may have to drop the case and not proceed with the Appeal. If this is the case, we will ask all those who have contributed to consider whether they would agree that we donate the balance to the very poor churches in the interior yet to be identified, irrespective of whether they are Anglican or non-Anglican. Some of these Churches we knew do not even have walls and cement floors and others do not have toilet facilities. The method of identifying worthy recipients can be worked out later, if this action becomes necessary.
We may also consider donating some of this money to Seminaries such as STS and STM from which many of our present clergies have studied and graduated.
We continue to request you all concern members to further contribute towards the cost of the appeal to the Court of Appeal by making your remittance to:-
COM SERVICES SDN BHD
Account No. 765-114616-7
OCBC Bank (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd
21 & 23 Jalan Pantai
88000 Kota Kinabalu
SWIFT CODE : OCBC MYKL
Any amount is welcome and will be greatly appreciated. Even if the amount is RM 50.00 or RM100.00, we will appreciate just the same. We also assure you that your identities and particulars will be kept in confidence by us.
We have consulted many senior lawyers both Anglicans and non-Anglicans and we were encouraged to appeal to the Appeals Court as we have a good chance of overturning the High Court decision. This Court action belongs to all of us and we must make a strong effort to sort out this crisis in which our Province and our Diocese are affected but unable to resolve.
Please pray over this matter as we need God’s guidance and help to save our Diocese. What we do today will have very important and far reaching effects and implications over the future of our Diocese. Our Diocese is now in a very chaotic state to say the least, and unless this crisis is resolved soon, the future is indeed very gloomy. We are already seeing many signs of decay in our Church, both physically and spiritually. The members are clearly and deeply divided. We are unable to provide effective moral and spiritual leadership to the Church because our leaders are not upright. Recent disclosures from the PAC Report clearly confirm what we had been saying for the past two years. If a change does not come soon, our Diocese will lose the credibility to witness for Jesus Christ and to preach the Gospel. Moreover, the problems and crisis in our Diocese are also adversely affecting the credibility and effectiveness of other Christian Churches, especially in Sabah to witness for Jesus Christ.
The Truth blog’s latest revelations have shown how one man, BAV, and the irresponsible Standing Committee have overnight destroyed our Diocese which was built by our forefathers over 100 years ago.
Thank you very much and may God bless you always.
LEGAL ACTION TASK FORCE
Next: PAC investigation into Bishop Albert Vun’s abusive behaviour Part I will be published next Monday, 10 March 2014.
The next segment of the PAC report will be published this Friday, 8pm. From the property acquisitions, we move on to the investigation into allegations of spiritual, emotional and verbal abuses of Bishop Albert Vun.
The following is a statement from the Legal Action Task Force.
Dear sisters and brothers, due to your overwhelming respond, we have collected over RM20K as of today, praise the Lord for your commitment to see that truth and righteousness prevail. As published earlier, the excess funds will be used for either filing an appeal to the Appeal Court (if the legal team decide to do so) or distribute to needy churches and people in the interior. We thank everyone for your partnership in this long road of truth, justice, righteousness and love for the Lord and His Church.
The correct account number is reflected below. Please take note.
APPEAL FOR FINANCIAL CONTRIBUTIONS
Many of you already knew that a Court Case was taken against the House of Bishops (HOB) in the High Court of Sabah in Kota Kinabalu recently for an order:
- To compel HOB to release the full PAC Report together with the Recommendations.
- To compel HOB to convene the Ecclesiastical Court in accordance with Article IV (h) and Regulation B of the Constitution of the Province of the Anglican Church in South East Asia.
The Court had ruled on 29th January 2014 that HOB is not a legal entity as it is not a registered body and hence it cannot be sued. Further, the Court had also awarded costs of RM 15,000.00 (Ringgit Malaysia Fifteen Thousand) to the HoB’s lawyers.
We are appreciative and thankful that some contributors and writers to The Truth blog had written in to offer towards paying for the legal costs and also to file an appeal to the Court of Appeal if sufficient fund is raised. All contributions will be used to pay for the costs awarded by the Court to the Defendant and if necessary to file an appeal to the Court of Appeal.
We provide herewith a venue in which you can make your contributions. The Account opened specifically for this purpose is in the name of a third party, a Management Company, so that everything will be done professionally and above board. Your contributions will be duly acknowledged with a receipt. You can also specify if you want the unused portion of the total contributions received to be calculated on a pro rata basis after the account is finalised, either to be returned to you or opt to donate to some poor churches worthy of support, to be identified later.
After you had deposited the money or cheques please either:
1. Fax a copy of the Bank slip to Fax No.088 -237663 or
2. Email an attachment, the receipt to email : firstname.lastname@example.org
3. SMS to: 012-837 6927 the details of the deposit.
THE ACCOUNT IS IN THE NAME OF: COM SERVICES SDN BHD
ACCOUNT NO. 765-114616-7
BANK: OCBC BANK
SWIFT CODE: OCBC MYKL
BANK ADDRESS: OCBC Bank (Malaysia) Berhad, 21 & 23, Jalan Pantai, 88000 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah.
As the cost of RM 15,000.00 has to be paid by 28th February 2014, your early response and generosity is greatly appreciated. We thank you very much for agreeing and wanting to support this worthy cause to protect and preserve our Diocese.
LEGAL ACTION TASK FORCE
After running an online poll for a week over 96% of readers want the PAC report to be published.
What’s the motif to want it published? Are we clamouring for juicy details to satisfy our curiosity? Or are we demanding for more information to finally reach our verdict on this crisis? “Finally” because many Christians take the “do not judge” & “let God be the judge” stance of passivsm & inaction. Yes, God is the final judge for ALL of us. Yet that does not negate our responsibility to examine the facts and evidences before us. There are more information and evidence on the alleged misconduct of Bishop Albert Vun that had yet to see daylight. Thus it is understandable why many sit on the fence on this crisis. Not having considered all the evidences, it is fair one should refrain from jumping into any conclusion.
This blog has presented the management letter, Standing Committee minutes, court documents. Now it is time to present the final piece of the evidence–the PAC report. The three-man PAC team consisted of members from the Diocese of West Malaysia, Singapore and Kuching respectively. It has an Assistant Bishop, an arbiter from Singapore and a professional accountant from Kuching. They are independent of our Diocese, biases, emotion, personal involvement. They are knowledgeable in the Anglican tradition and constitutions, accounting and management rules, resolving industrial and commercial disputes. This week we will finally hear from the PAC, the findings of their two-month investigation.
The PAC report will be released in stages so that we have space and time to digest what transpired. It will be published by categories of issues (ie acquisition of properties, financial management, abuse of staff & clergy, etc). At the end, the complete PAC report will be available for downloading.
The revelation of the PAC report will come with responsibilities. First, we have the responsibility to try to understand the report. Secondly, we must reach a conclusion at the end–whether the Bishop has been wrongly accused or otherwise–the question that divides the church today. Thirdly and most importantly, the reasons for our conclusions. This information requires us to take responsibilities for our Diocese. If the Bishop is falsely accused, then his accusers must be held accountable for spreading lies and attacking the leadership. If the Bishop is rightly accused, then the Bishop must take responsibilities for his transgressions. The Synod and Standing Committee must reflect how this farce could have gone so far and to seek reform to prevent such division and transgressions from revisiting the Diocese again.
The first part of the PAC report will be published this Thursday night, 8pm.