Apology and forgiveness (Translation)
Lim Sue Goan, August 30, 2010
Many people have apologised recently, including young Malaysian Yong Vui Kong, who has been convicted and sentenced to death for drug trafficking in Singapore, three teenagers in Seremban, who were allegedly to have been involved in throwing paint and bottles at a surau, and Serdang MP Teo Nie Ching, who was in trouble after giving a talk in the prayer hall of a Kajang surau.
Buddhism’s lessons emphasise “good deeds” and “all sentient beings have Buddha nature”. Other religions have similar teachings, too. Everyone makes mistakes. One must aware of his or her own mistakes and only then, “wishful thinking, differences and persistence” could be laid down and the mistakes could be corrected.
Apologising is a process when we are aware of our mistakes and try to correct them. It is a kind of psychological offset. Although an apology is unable to end the sanctions and the pursuit of legal responsibility, it is at least meant to show awareness and reflection. However, it is worrying that some people still insist that they are not wrong even though they know it deep in their hearts that they are wrong.
Some people make mistakes because of ignorance, such as Yong Vui Kong and the three teenagers in Seremban. Although the understanding and forgiveness of surau committee chairman Mohd Hasbi Ismail is rare, it is very much appreciated.
The teenagers are dropouts and they easily made mistakes as they have received too little of education. Parents and the society should care more about these lost young people to avoid any regrettable mistake.
On the other hand, some people could actually avoid a disaster emanated from careless talk, but they just repeated the same mistakes, just like Hong Kong actor Jackie Chan. He apologised after his Twitter message hurt the feelings of some Hong Kong people.
Jackie Chan is not a child. His standard is having some distance from his superstar status. He should go study so that he would not continue making circus-style action films and low-standard remarks.
Even CIMB Group chief executive Datuk Seri Nazir Razak, who holds a top position in the group, will be heading to the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies in the United Kingdom. But some senior politicians still refuse to improve themselves.
Some errors are systematic problems, such as the serious corruption in the Philippines. It is hard to distinguish between the officials and thieves and there is no professionalism at all, resulting in the death of eight Hong Kong tourists in the recent bus hijacking incident in Manila.
Meanwhile, some people are deliberately provocative because of political needs. For example, a group of Indonesians recently burnt Malaysian flags and hurled human faeces at the Malaysian Embassy in Jakarta to gain cheap publicity.
There can be different responses for these omissions, indiscretions and mistakes based on their nature. We may condemn or ask for punishment, but not maliciously defame them and make things more complicated.
I do not agree with Wee Meng Chee to attack the school principal, who was alleged to have made racial remarks, with foul language and obscene gestures as we still want to live together in this country.
I do not agree with the burning of Indonesian flags for revenge as it will degrade us to the same level as those Indonesian protestors.
I do not agree with the formation of a group to support the principal either as it will convey a wrong message and set a wrong example.
On the eve of the National Day, we must be broadminded and aware of our own mistakes through others’ mistakes. We ask for forgiveness for Yong Vui Kong, but can we forgive others?
If everyone possesses the spirit of learning from mistakes, reflection, self-improvement and forgiveness, Malaysia will then be a paradise on earth. — mysinchew.com