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Monday, August 29, 2016

There is no such thing as a cheap apology

I came across this article entitled ‘Mahathir’s Cheap Apology’ in The Malay Mail Online’s What You Think column last week and I must say that going by that article, it is sad to know that there are still people out there who do not understand the concept of sweet surrender.
I for one still believe that Malaysians generally are still ‘sentimental’ so to speak and if someone offers an apology, it means that that person is sorry for something that was done.
In that article, the author said this: “A careful inspection of his apology reveals no apparent theme or principle, especially in view of the fact that the apology was targeted neither at the Malay rulers nor the rakyat, as if he was apologising to himself, all for himself only.”
Since when do people conduct a careful inspection of an apology? Since when did an apology require a theme?
Let us look at what was actually said by Dr Mahathir Mohamad in his blog. He said this: “I would like to apologise for the amendment to the constitution which made the approval and signature of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong no longer necessary for the legalising of an act of Parliament. It would seem that because of the amendment, the new National Security Law has become operational even though the Yang di-Pertuan Agong has not signed it.”
How that constitutes a cheap apology is beyond me. This is a voice of concern. A concern that seems to be rooted to actions taken many years ago. Actions that brought about amendments to the Federal Constitution. The very constitution that guarantees our rights as Malaysian. Hence the apology for those actions which now seem to have led to abuse.
They say that surrender is the path to peace. It has religious connotations. When someone apologises, it means he wants peace. To apologise is sometimes the easiest, and sometimes the hardest thing to do.
I am pretty sure that when Dr Mahathir was writing down his thought, he had the Holy Quran in front of him. I say this because when I had the pleasure of meeting him in his office, he was doing just that.
The point that I am trying to make here is that no one should say an apology is ever cheap. We will never know how that person ‘struggled’ to say sorry.

PUTHAN PERUMAL is an advocate and solicitor of the High Court of Malaya. -Mkini

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