NKF Defamation Suit - a Gay reflection for mercy
July 11, 2005. The National Kidney Foundation (NKF) defamation suit against the Singapore Press Holdings opened in the High Court today in Singapore. The suit centers on a Straits Times article published on 19 Apr 2004 which highlighted the extravagent spending on bathroom fittings. NKF claimed that the article was misleading. In the subsequebnt cross examination of NKF's CEO, Mr TT Durai, the NKF's adminstration was brought into public srutiny. The court heard that he had earned over SGD 600K per year and had a 12 months bonus. The revelation came as a surpise to many Singaporeans who had donated to NKF. They considered this very excessive for a charity organization. In light of the public outcry that followed with thousands cancelling their regular donations, and many signing an on-line petition for Mr Durai's removal, the NKF then withdrew their defamation suit the next day. By week end, Mr Durai and the entire Board of NKF had resigned.
From a Gay Christian perspective, how should we respond? Should be join in the community to sign the on-line petition, the modern day public lynching ?
As a community, we should not be a part of the on-line petition. Why? We should not be conducting ourselves like the rest of the community who seemingly considers themselves much more moral than Mr Durai. Has Mr Durai committed a crime? No. There is no crime committed and no conviction. Mr Durai was well overpaid but so are many occupations in Singapore. NKF is a professional charity organization where it is run as a company and not as welfare. Whilst the renumeration for the CEO may be excessive, this is on par with many similarly sized organizations.
How then should we respond?
As Gay Christians, it is imperative that we display mercy. We need to show compassion and display mercy, not giving Mr Durai what he deserved on the contrary to the general community. Have we so soon forgotten that this is the same community who are overwhelmingly against Gays, who called for the sanitization of a school after a teacher was discovered being gay. If this was a case whereby a private investigator discovered that the CEO of a major organization is Gay and have had sex with men in a 5 star hotel, the reaction of the community would inevitably be the same. As Christian Gays who have gone through much persecution and condemnation by the community, we whould know how this feels like and not do likewise.
As Gay Christians, we show mercy because we desire and need mercy ourselves from God, from Jesus Christ. At any time, the Government could shut down many of the Gay establishments with the action sanctioned by the community. But much more worrying is the high rates of AIDS in our community where being only 5% of the population, we have more than 30% of the HIV+ cases. i.e. we are seven times more likely to be HIV+. In areas of faith, there are very few Christians with many closeted within their own churches and living under much oppression from the mainstream christian leaders. Evangelism amongst Gays is non existent. There are hardly any evangelical gay christian who have reconciled their faith with their gayness due to the incorrectly held belief that the bible is anti-gay. There is a deep cry from within the hearts of Gays for God's love, acceptance and healing. Whereas the harvest is plentiful, the labourers are very very few.
There is no other group in Singapore who needs God's mercy more than we do. Outside Singapore, the need is also desparate. In Japan, more than 60% of the new infections are occurring in the Gay community. Disturbingly, the latest regional statistics of HIV prevalence show prevalence rates in many Asian gay communities approaching or
already past the ‘take-off rate’ of two per cent for a major epidemic within the gay community. Bangkok is already beyond 17 per cent – approaching that of inner Sydney. Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh City appears to be 8 per cent; most major Chinese cities are reporting one to three per cent.
Father God. Pour down your mercy upon the Gay community in Singapore and Asia. Let us see Jesus not through the eyes of religion - the Anglican, the Catholic, the Evangelicals, the Charismatics, and the liberals who has potrayed you so differently than who you really are. We seek mercy. We need you Father God, we need your healing touch. Heal us O Lord and we will be healed. Touch us Jesus just as you touched the very sick 'unclean' women. Touch us O Lord, and make us clean that we may know you and have everlasting life. Hear our cries O Lord above the loud cries of condemnation against Gays from the church and the community.
Jesus, Son of God, Son of Man.Our Saviour. Have mercy on us not because we deserve it but because you died for us at the cross of Calvary. We lift you up lord, that through your death and resurrection, Gays will come back to you.