Thursday, May 21, 2009

Pete, You Don’t Owe Malaysia an Apology

In response to My most sincere apology to the nation by Raja Petra Kamarudin

Dear Pete,

I don’t think anybody can be hold accountable for something that his or her 32 years old son did. While I understand the plight that you have to go through as a parent, I don’t think you owe anybody an apology.

The way you handled the situation – of facing it squarely, not giving in to the temptation to bribery, is setting a shining example for all Malaysian. If anything at all, everybody who ever participated in bribery in any form owes you an apology.

I am one who should offer you an apology. I am one who lost counts on the number of times in which I settle speeding and other offences ‘on the spot’ with the police. I am one who participated in and propagated and the culture of corruption in Malaysia. I knew how easy it is to give in to the temptation of doing it the easy way. Your example put me to shame. It should put many people to shame.

But I also like to let you know that I have stopped doing that. It took me almost half a life time to learn some fundamental things about not going with the flow, not taking the easy way out, and standing up and speaking out against what is wrong.

It feels good to do so. For the first time in my life I felt hope for Malaysia and for humanity altogether. For the first time I felt a sense of purpose for Malaysia. The purposefulness came from knowing that I am not an innocent victim, that I have the responsibility and the power to change those around me. For that I have to thank you for being the pioneer, for being the voice that awakened me from stupor.

You don’t owe me an apology Pete. But gratitude and appreciation I have plenty for you.

I don't know where you are now but I hope one day I can work with you. I hope soon you will be able to come out of hiding; where you and your family don’t have to live under constant threat. I hope soon we can provide you with a safe circumstance so that you can enjoy a normal family life.

People power ultimately is beyond the political agenda. It is primarily about going beyond our tribal mindset so that we can collectively and cooperatively provide a safe and sane circumstance for all.

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