A good lesson for the ‘honourables’

One of the main focal points in the allegation about police brutality in the bersih walk was the alleged firing of tear gas and water cannon into the compound of a hospital, Tung Shin.

I wrote an article on that which was carried in this blog and was picked up by Malaysian Insider, Malaysia Today and LKS’s blg, some of the most popular online sites in the country. I was told that article titled “Yes, Minister, you are wrong!” was quite widely read and circulated, and even many politicians have their PAs printed it out for them to read.

It may have contributed in a very small way to the setting up of a Ministry probe team to investigate about this. (There was an almost unanimous cry from NGOs and civil society and that was probably the main reason).. In a way, it also shows that no matter how bad our government is perceived to  be, it is still a functioning democracy in which voices  from the ground are still being heard, if it is loud enough.

So to have things changed for the better, sometimes, the civil society including all of us must speak up, we cannot rely on the political parties anymore!  Many of the political parties are more dead than alive and many are bordering on being irrelevant .(A clear point was the fiasco of the Chinatown delegation led by a head of a component party which met SPAD, and which came out with a statement giving an impression that the land grab of chinatown was settled amicably, only to be rebuked by the Chairman of SPAD the next day. Now the people there have gone straight to a UMNO minister for help, and I think he should have more clout than the head of the component party in settling this issue. — that is besides this topic actually, my  apologies!)

Now the probe team has completed its work, and according to Home Ministry secretary-general Tan Sri Mahmood Adam, there were some unethical actions beyond the SOP of the police when enforcement was carried out at that time.

It has finally admitted  what the netizens have long known from pictures posted in the internet and youtube, that there was indeed firing of teargas and water cannon into the car park section of Tung Shin Hospital. The emphasis on “car park”  was, i think, a face saving exercise, to show that the main hospital building is not involved, even though the car park is already within the gates  of the compound. Since air is not static and is constantly circulating,  air with tear-gas chemicals would easily have reached the hospital wards.

This is a lesson for our authority to learn that they need to learn to response and not react to criticism. When there were cries of hospital being involved after Bersih, the Home and the Health Ministers came out respectively to deny that immediately; I am sure at that time, they did not even know that there were pictures posted in the net.

In hindsight, what they should have done is to make a statement that they would investigate and look into the complaint. But when you are up there surrounded by sycophants, sometimes it is difficult for them not to fall into the partisan trap and defend for the sake of defending.. In the end, it actually projects a perception of arrogance..

As leaders, they should be big enough to know when to response and when to apologise, when an apology is warranted.  It is worth noting that Lee Hsien Loong’s public apology in the run up to the General Election in Singapore actually did help to  swing back a few percentage points, otherwise, PAP would have received even lesser votes.

Leaders should remember they are human too,  and they should be big enough to apologise when indeed they or people they are responsible for have mishandled or mismanaged.

After all, humans are fallible!


13 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. klm
    Oct 05, 2011 @ 12:15:19

    Seemed the real cuplrit was the number two 2 policeman. But they will pin the tail on the number one and get rid of him.


  2. A Single Vote
    Oct 05, 2011 @ 12:46:23

    Looks like the rakyat will have to go around carrying video cameras/ cameras and audio recorders so as to be able to show proof each time cos the very first thing they’d do is deny, deny, deny. Bet your bottom dollar they all knew it happened but because they get away with it most times, they’ll continue to try everytime.
    We need articulate people like you to help show them, that no we are not the silly ones, they are.
    We were returning from Paris through LCCT at 5.30am and the only 2 customs officers, they were ladies, on duty were blissfully sleeping, one head tilted back with mouth open and the other leaning so far off her chair she’d only wake when she falls off.
    The few Mat Sallehs ahead of us stopped wondering what to do next, we overtook them and shhhh lets move on. They smiled and shook their heads!!! (bo hoh bin these foreigners) Our faces were redder than the Mat Sallehs! Disgraceful!!!
    Sorry la, we had our hands full so no pictures, but you and everyone else would have encountered these oh so often like we have but would they ‘believe’ us?
    Where’s the core values of our country gone, migrated? So-called leaders lie to our face without batting an eyelid when they know we know they are lying.
    Integrity, Dignity…… whats all that?
    And they are still wondering why we’re ditching them. But then again many SYTs still believe(sic) in them, and to join them, oblivious to all that disgrace and disgust?
    Ulterior motives, or we’re simply not working hard enough, us advocates of a 2 party system


  3. Dr Hsu
    Oct 05, 2011 @ 13:34:28

    In the malaysian context, everything is about cutting deals

    I heard rumours that The Top actually wanted the No.1 law man to quit, but No. 1 lawman has so much of info about the whole cabin that when he refused to go, there is not much Top can do.

    I would like to think No1 enforcer would not quit unless there is a deal to appoint him to some directorship..

    Sad but true, This culture has already been formed during the Old Horse’s time, carrots or sticks.. So to effect change in the country, you need to change this culture first..


  4. Li Li Fa
    Oct 05, 2011 @ 14:34:44

    “You can fool some people all the time, and all the people some of the time, but not all the people all the time.” A great statesman once said this.

    But our own minister chooses to give a new meaning to the above – that he is protected and immuned from the effects of the words he uttered, as his colourful words change like the skin of the chameleon.

    Words and deeds do not jive, and he expects the people will accept his folly and forget about the whole situation. Certainly, an apology lies waiting.

    To change this culture, this minister needs to be ‘cured’ from the ‘disease of fooling the people’.

    At least the doctors in Tong Shin hospital who witnessed the incident, spoke and explained the truth about the whole issue that happened at their hospital.

    Now, let the people, who are no fools, decide on the relevance of this minister, and his party, especially when the 13GE draws near.


  5. Kenny
    Oct 05, 2011 @ 21:18:09

    I think it’s less about arrogance than being trapped in the old mindset. In the old days when the MSM monopolized news they could blow up or put away any issue. If the MSM refused to highlight any issue it just dies, simple as that. Of course now we have the internet and anybody with a phone camera can be an ad hoc reporter. However many BN leaders are still trapped in the old mindset of total information control which no longer exist.

    This is the only reason I can think of why Liow Tiong Lai lied through his teeth regarding the Tung Shin hospital fiasco. His mistake was to discount the internet.


  6. cilipadi
    Oct 05, 2011 @ 22:19:23

    They are used to tell lies
    To save face
    When you point them the truths
    They ‘offended’, because they ‘lose face’
    You have to apologise

    Till truths cannot turn into lies
    To save face
    They say sorry with but here and there
    All because of their ‘face’
    This is their mindsets, face is more important than dignity
    Can this also be their culture? Their psyche?

    We know the truths, but cannot tell
    Wait they ‘offended’ and get very angry

    At least, my Malay friend not like that

    Lies makan cili, truths rasa pedas


  7. aiz
    Oct 05, 2011 @ 23:33:46

    When the people are given a choice of no choice : The only option they possess to signal the seriousness of their frustrations is to outrage. Granted, outrage is a potential cause of public disorder. But outrage is a freedom from which much good can come. Freedom is the freedom to legitimate outrage, or it is no freedom at all. It may in some senses be wrong to outrage [if it is not peaceful] ; nevertheless, it is a healthy freedom. One can even see that this freedom to outrage as a positive service/outlet to define the equal right of all people to live a life, and to pursue the aspirations for a better future by sharing compatible goals with the holders of the ring of power.

    Good night… Malaysia.


  8. Mike
    Oct 05, 2011 @ 23:56:03

    Remember the soon-to-doom party leaders were saying the smoke near the hospital was due to wind blowing or due to the angle at which the pictures were taken !


  9. cilipadi
    Oct 06, 2011 @ 00:32:43

    They value their faces so much
    But their faces not worth a single cent
    Their butts worth more than their faces actually
    As butts can be used for sodomy charges

    I a non-Malaysia can talk only, cannot vote
    Shameful if you still vote them
    Even after knowing faces and butts stories.

    Faces makan cili, butts rasa pedas


  10. Dr Hsu
    Oct 06, 2011 @ 11:07:51

    The Minister of Health has finally apologised for his denial of the incident in the beginning, accoring to Sin chew today.

    It is better late than never, as the saying goes.

    Good at least he has finally realised that it is a big man who can say sorry.


  11. Li Li Fa
    Oct 06, 2011 @ 11:33:36

    Dr Hsu
    You have said it that we are after all humans.

    To err is human; to forgive divine.


  12. rtee
    Oct 06, 2011 @ 13:49:43

    well said, Li Li Fa.


  13. klm
    Oct 06, 2011 @ 19:11:17

    How can we forgive the MCA Health Minister? He can say sorry. But it is we who say ok. And I say it is not OK, whether he apologise or not. He is Brutus and never sincere.


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