THE LORD MY VINDICATOR
By Asian Beacon
What would you do if you were accused of doing something wrong, despite being completely innocence? Would you be bitter, angry, revengeful? For Balasupramaniam a/l Veeriah @ Timothy Bala, it was this moment that brought him to the Lord.
An outstanding Royal Malaysian Customs officer, he was framed for bribery and corruption despite being proven innocent in court. But it was a 15 year struggle to prove his innocents and regain all that he lost.
As Bala explained, he was born in a staunch Hindu family of seven members, where he practiced his religion zealously. He was first exposed to Christ from his best friend Alex Francis from secondary school.
“He used to bring the gospel to me and we always ended up in a heated argument. After university I did a short teaching job at a private school. There I rose from being a teacher to deputy principle in just two years. I thought I needed no one but myself to make it in life,” Bala said. “In 1984 I was offered a job in the Royal Malaysian Customs. After my training I was posted to different places as head of the Enforcement division. I did my job with full dedication. I wrote several training manuals and books for the state Customs department. My name was making news in the papers almost every week. I was an outstanding officer and was awarded the excellent service award for three consecutive years. I was even selected to undergo special training in the United States. In 1995, I was tipped to be promoted to assistant director of Customs. I was and on the away to another excellent service award. I loved my job so much that I used to work even till 2 am,”
HIS PRAYING WIFE
It was during one of these postings that Bala met his wife Alice and married in 1988.
“My wife was a devoted Christian. She used to share Jesus with me. Even as a Hindu I used to follow her to Methodist Church in Alor Star. I used to attend Church camps but was never around during altar calls. I would sneak out and wait for it to be over. My wife kept on praying for my salvation. She waited upon the Lord patiently. I knew there was a a man called Jesus. He was to me just another god to be added to my long list of gods,” explained Bala.
THE TURNING POINT.
But on the 26th of November 1996, Bala’s entire life came crashing down.
“On this day at 5.30 pm I was arrested by the Anti-Corruption Agency(ACA) which is now known as the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission for alleged corruption. I can still remember I had a meeting in a restaurant with a man who I came later to know as my accuser. After the meeting, as I stepped out of the restaurant, a few men surrounded me. One of them put his hand on my shoulder and said that I was being arrested for corruption,” Bala said.
He was then taken for questioning at the ACA office in Alor Star.
“I saw my life being torn away from me for every kilometer we covered. The questioning went out till late night. Then I was told that I had to be remanded for a night in the police lock up. I froze and my mind went blank for a while. Despite my pleas they still sent me to the lock up. That night as I shared a cell with about ten other people I reflected on my life. The all-knowing, high flying, top performing senior officer now reduced to nothing. Devastated, as I sat in the cell thinking of my future, my wife, my family and my wrecked life. How was I going to face my office colleagues, my family and friends?” Bala iterated.
He released the next day on bail.
“My life before at this point of time can be summarized with this one verse “Mark 8:36:For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?”” Bala summarised.
Returning to work he was placed at a desk job just signing forms, where all the accolades and laurels and awards came to nothing.
“I had held several important positions. It was taken away one after another. I also had to withstand the remarks that were going behind my back. It was hurting and terrible,” Bala explained.
CHARGED IN COURT
In January 1997, he received a phone call from the ACA office.
“I was informed that I was going to be charged in court. After I was charged I received a letter from my department that I was on partial suspension. I could not go to work but will be paid half salary. I made it into the newspapers again. This time it was for another reason. It was a black day for me as I surrendered my authority badge. I emptied my office and carried my possessions. This was the most painful journey in my life,” Bala explained.
JESUS COMES KNOCKING AT MY DOOR
Yet there was hope. It was that following week that Bala followed his wife to Church. After the service the senior pastor Peng Chiat, and the late Pastor Lim Keong Goo and some church leaders met with Bala.
“I told them the whole story. Before praying Pastor Lee asked me to seek forgiveness from Jesus after that they laid hands and prayed upon me. For the first time I felt a warmth and a peace flow through me. It was not a feeling of rejection but acceptance. There was a kind of strength that came upon me. I started attending Church regularly. I also joined a cell group,” Bala explained.
Despite this Bala did not completely give his life to Jesus. He still went back to his old form of worship, which caused the peace he had to disappear.
“I was once again drowned in sorrow. I realised that it did not go away when I worshipped the many gods that I still had in my house.
There was one time I was so broken and weary, I was on the verge of just giving up. I lost my joy, my spirits were low and was beginning to go into depression. That week when I went to church with my wife Dr Lee was doing the announcing. He read out this verse:
Matthew 11: 28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you REST.
It was like God was talking to me. I felt a surge of strength sweep through my body. The scripture was like a balm that soothed my troubled heart. From that day forth this verse became deeply embedded in me,” Bala explained.