Contribution to Legal Cost

The following is an announcement from the Legal Action Task Force.

This is to inform the latest position to all members of our Anglican Churches and all those who have contributed generously to the raising of funds to cover the legal costs for the Appeal Case to the Court of Appeal.

We are glad to inform you that as of 31st March 2014, we have a balance of approx. RM36,500.00 in our account, subject to minor adjustments. We praise God and thank everyone who had responded positively to the Appeal and partnered with us in this righteous cause.

The task force has targeted to collect RM50,000.00 for this Appeal. Due to the court procedures, we must respond within 60 days from the date of Judgement if an Appeal is to be filed, it was decided once we have reached a target of RM35,000 we will proceed on to file the  Record of Appeal inclusive of the Memorandum of Appeal.

We are glad to inform that on 8th April 2014 our lawyer had filed the Record of Appeal inclusive of the Memorandum of Appeal. We request all who supported this Appeal to commit this matter to constant prayers.

Meanwhile, we are keeping the process of receiving contributions opened. Anyone who likes to contribute can still do so by making your remittances to:-

COM SERVICES SDN BHD
Account No. 765-114616-7
OCBC Bank (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd
21 & 22 Jalan Pantai,
88000 Kota Kinabalu,
Sabah

Thank you all very much and may God continue to bless you.

LEGAL ACTION TASK FORCE

 

Final Words

If there is one thing we can learn from the Malaysian Airlines MH370 incident is that without solid evidence, we only have unsubstantiated claims, opinions, hearsay, and hypothesis. They make great coffee shop banter and some of us babbling fools, but they do not contribute any meaningful solution or give us any closure.

In the same way, hearsay and opinions cannot resolve the crisis engulfing our Diocese. Before we form any conclusion, it is important we understand the issues and examine the evidences first. In this crisis, we have two main evidences: the management letter and the PAC report. Unless we have read these documents with an open mind and critical thinking, we are making uninformed decisions or unsubstantiated opinions.

Did Bishop Albert Vun abuse his authority and violate the constitution? What were the abuses and violations? This blog was started two years ago to find answers to these questions. With the management letter and PAC report both available to everyone, the answers are in our hands. The objective of this blog is met and its purpose fulfilled.

This is the final blog post, unless there’s any major announcements in the future. This blog with all its content will remain online and public. Comments will continue to be moderated. You can continue to exchange ideas and voice your opinions here.

One may argue this blog still has much to do. The Diocesan constitution needs to be updated and amended; the election of the next Bishop; the construction of the Celebration Center which remains controversial; the upcoming Synod; the promise to re-audit the 2010-2011 Diocesan accounts which remains unfulfilled; the unaccredited ATI and the fate of our future clergy trained by unqualified personnel; Anglican members who refuse to examine the facts of this crisis.

Yes, all these are vital issues that need to be addressed but this blog is not called to solve every problem in our Diocese. Two years ago most of us did not know the truth. Now we do. With knowledge comes responsibilities. What are we going to do now we can confirm the abuses committed by Bishop Albert Vun? What will the Synod, Standing Committee and PCCs do next? This blog is called to find the truth and present it with clarity. The responsibilities to reform and restore the church lay with the Synod, Standing Committee, PCCs and with you who are well informed. Whatever we do, fail to do, ignore to do, refuse to do, we will be held accountable to our Lord.

This blog is not throwing in the towel, but passing on the baton. The truth is established. Now, it’s time for you to step up and be counted for. First, let’s get the right delegates to the Synod which according to the constitution has the authority to decide the “life, work and administration” of the Diocese and make “Standing Orders and Regulations for the proper conduct of the business of the Diocese”. Discuss as a church your concerns for the Diocese. Consult and formulate motions for the Synod. Let’s turn rhetoric into real reform.

The road to reform will be long and hard. Some damages to the Diocese will have long term consequences. The PAC report shows that the predicament we are in stem not only from an abusive bishop but the failure of the Standing Committee and senior clergymen to stop BAV from rampaging the Diocese with impunity. Lies, after lies, after lies. Manipulation, deception, cover-ups all go unchecked. Instead of holding the Bishop accountable to the constitution and the word of God, many Stand Comm members and senior clergy just enabled BAV. This results in distrust between the laity towards the institution and clergy. When the clergy insists everything is alright when there are clearly grave problems, their integrity and moral standing is called to question. In my opinion, a Diocese wide repentance and unqualified apology is the minimum requirement for genuine reconciliation to start.

Lest we blame only our leaders, many ordinary members choose the “see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil” stance to remain oblivious to the crisis. Many believe being Christian means not confronting sins even when our leaders are abusing their office. Instead of examining the evidences and issues with an open mind and critical thinking, they opt to ignore the facts so they can convince themselves they do not have enough evidence to make a stand. This eroded the call for reform and repentance and embolden the abusers.

“Do not touch the Lord’s anointed” and canonical obedience have stopped many people from thinking critically or fact checking the leadership. This expose the shallowness of our biblical understanding and the lack of holistic approach in confronting leaders who live in sin.

Equally worrying is the training of our future clergy under the unaccredited ATI by unqualified personnel. As of today, we are the only Diocese in the Province without a single candidate in an accredited seminary. The future will be more dire if this is not reversed quickly.

We must thank the five complainants. Their initiative to file a case against Bishop Albert Vun had awaken us to the dire conditions of our Diocese. They put their reputation on the line to stand up against a corrupt institution. They faced character assassinations and false accusations, yet they held their ground. Without their brave move, most of us would still be in the dark.

Everyone can only live 2014 once. It’s important we live it for God and make it count for Him and ourselves. Maintaining this blog requires a sacrifice and personal toll that few understand. We must do what’s humanly possible and leave the humanly impossible to God.

Many are discouraged and despondent in this crisis. How can God let this happen to us? Consider what Jesus lived through. The Jewish puppet king responded to Jesus’ birth by massacring babies. The religious leaders of the day were corrupted, out of touch, hypocritical and overbearing. The house of God was turned into a den of robbers. The people of God oppressed, burdened and weary. Yet it was at such a time Jesus came in with the “good news”. We often mistaken the good news as a blessing that we will experience when we go to heaven. But the good news is right now too! Jesus intercedes for us unceasingly. He sends the Holy Spirit to ministers to us. Jesus lived through worse so He understands us. The good news is the Son of God has come for the children of God. In the Old Testament God sent angels and prophets, now He sends his own Son.

If you are lost, Jesus will leave behind the ninety nine to find you. Let Him find you and carry you home. If you are wounded, He can heal you. If you have squandered a great fortune, He will welcome you home with open arms. Jesus saves all of us–including the abusers implicated in this blog. It is never too late to return to Christ. There are no sins too big He cannot forgive.

We know the veil of the holy of holies were torn from top to bottom. Perhaps we have inadvertently replaced the torn veil with a new veil–Anglicanism. Yet make no mistake, God has given us direct access to Him. It is not about worshipping on this mountain or that mountain, it is about worshipping Him in spirit and in truth.

In our despair, we think our church is disgraced and doomed. That’s true but this is not the final chapter of the church of Jesus Christ. The bride groom will return for his bride. His redemptive power is at work to ransom us from what’s holding us in captivity. Throughout church history, Christ has redeemed his church from corruption, heresy, abomination, persecution. He will redeem his church.

The Bible says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” The keyword here is “IF”. Confession, not denials, leads to forgiveness.

Our dear brothers and sisters in Christ, may the Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.

The truth will set us free.

The Mother of All Synods

Diocesan Secretary Paul Liew sent out a notice to all PCCs and their respective secretaries, reminding them to elect their delegates in their upcoming AGMs. Meanwhile, Bishop Albert Vun sent a separate email to Rectors and Priest-in-charge telling them to elect their delegates at a PCC meeting. These two conflicting instructions caused some confusion.

How are Synod delegates elected? At AGMs or at a PCC meeting? Let’s refer to Article XXIII of the Diocesan constitution.

Article XXIII of the Diocesan Constitution.

Article XXIII of the Diocesan Constitution.

What is a “Parochial Meeting”? Is it an AGM or a PCC meeting? The Diocesan constitution defines it clearly on page 3.

synod_02

The definition of a “Parochial Meeting” according to the Diocesan Constitution.

BAV’s attempt to re-define a “Parochial Meeting” as a PCC meeting is problematic in three ways. First, the constitution has already defined a “Parochial Meeting” as a meeting that summons all communicants who are 18 or above. Clearly an AGM is such a meeting and a PCC meeting is not. Secondly, as a convention, Synod delegates have always been elected at AGMs of respective parishes. Senior clergy like BAV, Dean Chak, Moses Chin and even former Bishops can testify to this fact. Finally, PCC is the acronym for Parochial Church Council. It is incomprehensible how Bishop Albert Vun could mistake that, let alone redefining it a Parochial Meeting as a Parochial Church Council meeting. More importantly, why does Bishop Albert Vun want Synod delegates to be elected at a PCC meeting? What is it in for him?

There were a fair amount of manipulation and irregularities in the previous Synod two years ago. No notice for the Synod was filed. BAV instructed the priest to appoint the wardens as delegates, instead of electing the delegates during the AGM. At hindsight, many view this as a tactic to stymie dissenting voices and critical minds.

In the last Synod, the management letter was withheld and the PAC report was under wraps. Now both incriminating evidences are out in the public. The Synod can choose to embrace the truth by redirecting the Diocese to repentance, or ignore the truth by continuing down the path of destruction. Electing delegates with critical thinking and godliness is paramount to restoring the church.

Be wise and prayerful who you want to represent your parish in the coming Synod which is shaping up to be the mother of all Synods.

Download the PAC Report

The PAC report you are about to download is unsigned. It is the very copy sent by the Provincial House of Bishop to the complainants, and the same copy submitted to the Malaysian High Court thus it bears the High Court seal. Its authenticity was never disputed by lawyers representing the PHoB in the High Court so one can be assured it is genuine and accurate.

The entire PAC report can be downloaded via any of these two links. It is a 17MB file. It might take a bit of time depending on your internet speed.

To download, right click and select “Save Linked File As”
download PAC report (link 1)

download PAC report (link 2)

This blog will make its final posting this Wednesday, 26 March, 8pm.

PAC Report: Bishop Albert Vun’s Abusive Behaviours (Part I)

PAC investigation into Bishop Albert Vun's abusive behaviours.

PAC investigation into Bishop Albert Vun’s abusive behaviours.

PAC investigation into Bishop Albert Vun's abusive behaviours.

PAC investigation into Bishop Albert Vun’s abusive behaviours.

PAC investigation into Bishop Albert Vun's abusive behaviours.

PAC investigation into Bishop Albert Vun’s abusive behaviours.

Next: The PAC’s investigation into Bishop Albert Vun’s Abusive Behaviours (Part II) will be published this Thursday, 13 March, 8pm.

Consideration To Appeal Against The High Court Decision

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:  legaltaskforce@hotmail.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
Sabah

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 Segment of PAC Report

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.