Media Release (August 26, 2010)
When we do wrong – whether intentionally or not – we cause hurt both to ourselves and others. Saying sorry is taking the first step in the healing process for both parties.
A collective of individuals and organisations are coming together to declare Sept 5, 2010, as Say Sorry Day. Everyone – in Malaysia and beyond – is encouraged on this day to seek forgiveness from and grant it to each other.
That this is the holy month of Ramadhan makes Say Sorry Day even more significant, as Hari Raya Aidilfitri – held to celebrate the end of the fasting month – is deeply associated with the spirit of apologizing and forgiveness.
However, this spirit is not just embraced by our Muslim brothers and sisters; it is also universally acknowledged and encouraged by all major spiritual traditions.
The inspiration for Say Sorry Day is a young Malaysian, Yong Vui Kong, who was only 18 when he was arrested for drug trafficking in Singapore. He is currently appealing for clemency, but he may still be hanged and not get a chance to redeem his wrongs.
Many Malaysians and Singaporeans have campaigned for him to be granted a second chance because they believe in forgiveness. Vui Kong has apologised and hopes to be given the chance to share his life lessons with others and help Singapore fight the drug barons.
His situation is extreme, and many people may not find themselves in the same situation. However, we all need forgiveness because we all do wrong; as the saying goes, “to err is human”.
Whether our transgressions are significant or minute, we all need forgiveness – sometimes we need to seek it, and other times we need to give it. It is this seeking and giving that frees us.
A number of public events are being organised in conjunction with Say Sorry Day.
The Annexe Gallery (2nd Floor, Central Market Annexe, Jalan Hang Kasturi, 50470 Kuala Lumpur) will be hosting a forum entitled Beg Your Pardon: When governments, leaders & individuals say sorry on Sept 3 (Friday) at 8.30pm.
On Sept 4, an arts event titled The Hardest Word: The Art of Saying Sorry will also be hosted at The Annexe Gallery at 8.30pm. The night of arts will feature, among others:
- A montage of clips from old Malay movies by filmmaker-writer Amir Muhammad.
- Theater actors Anne James and Jo Kukathas who will re-enact a scene from the play Cuckoo Birds.
- A reading of an original writing by writer Brian Gomez.
- Stand-up comedy by non-governmental individual Hishammudin Rais.
- A performance by singer-songwriter Liyana Fizi.
Those on social media are invited to share their stories, pictures or experiences on the Say Sorry Day Facebook Page (http://www.facebook.com/saysorryday) or on Twitter using the hashtag #iamsorry.
A special Say Sorry Day video, featuring 15 Malaysians, will also be released via Facebook on Sept 5.
Say Sorry Day is initiated by the following groups:
- The Annexe Gallery
- Council of Churches of Malaysia Youth
- Islamic Renaissance Front
- Save Vui Kong Campaign
- Young Buddhist Association of Malaysia
It is supported by the following groups:
- Amnesty International (AI)
- BLIA Malaysia (国际佛光会马来西亚协会)
- Buddhist Maha Vihara 十五碑佛寺 (锡兰佛教会)
- Civil Rights Committee, Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall (CRC-KLSCAH) 隆雪华堂民权委员会
- Civil Rights Committee, LLG (林连玉基金，公民社会委员会)
- Cultural Development Centre (林连玉基金)
- Federation of Chinese Associations Malaysia Youth (FCAM Youth) 华总青
- Fo Guang Shan Malaysia (马来西亚佛光山)
- Friends in Conversation (FIC)
- Instant Café Theatre Company
- Penang Independent Schools Education Society (槟州独中教育基金会)
- SIS Forum Malaysia
- Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Suaram) 大马人民之声
- The Micah Mandate (TMM)
- Vajrayana Buddhist Council of Malaysia (马来西亚金刚乘佛教总会)