Thursday, February 16, 2012 - 17:05
quote Roberto Mancini, the Manchester City manager: “It is a bad moment to talk about handshakes but I forgive people every time.”
It was clear the feisty Italian was referring to his incredibly stubborn striker, Carlos Tevez, who may just be playing again for the football club with a bottomless pit of oil-wealth, if the Argentinian tendered a formal apology to the gaffer and teammates.
Mancini showed his quirky sense of humour as well, for the “handshakes” remark was also an inference to recalcitrant Liverpool ace Luis Suarez, who has attained the unenviable status of being the pariah of world football for his blatant refusal to shake the hand of Manchester United captain Patrice Evra, whom he racially abused in Anfield last October.
That Suarez and King Kenny Dalglish (the latter lost the plot by going on the defensive when questioned on if Suarez’s conduct was to blame for tempers flaring at half-time and at the final whistle) had tendered apologies may not mean much to some, but in the bigger scheme of things, it is a start to improving things.
Suarez needs to be reprimanded as his is a story of deceit for he refused to shake Evra’s hand despite promising his club that he would. But to football fans, it is time to bury the hatchet and not let this incredulously stupid episode mar the joys that football and the players can bring.
Let Tevez play, too, if he apologises. Why should we be denied of his mercurial talent if he has learned his lesson and accepts he has made a mistake for which he has been punished for? There is no irony in my wish — even if I am a diehard Red Devil.
I would like to share one of the best advices given to me. It came from none other than renowned motivational expert Datuk Dr Mohd Fadzilah Kamsah, who said, more or less, that the soul could be cleansed if one learned to forgive.
His tip was simple: ask for forgiveness from your loved ones before you sleep and also forgive them. Then tell yourself this: “I forgive everybody who has done wrong to me”.
Pray that they reciprocate the same way as well. Try this. At the very least, I feel lighter as the burden of bitterness that goes with not forgiving, and that of asking for forgiveness, is somewhat lifted from my not-broad-at-all shoulders.
Now, the heavy subject of the much-debated, highly-maligned replacement laws for the Internal Security Act (ISA) comes to mind.
Three days ago, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak told hundreds of senior police officers that the new laws would demand a higher burden of proof before arrests can be made.
“We cannot be in the state of mind of just arresting anyone but must ask if the evidence can stand in the court of law,” he said at the International Conference on Principled Policing in the capital.
Najib acknowledged criticisms that the ISA was “archaic and draconian” and called on the force to transform itself to “a higher level of professionalism”, especially in the collection of evidence, in which there “cannot be compromise”.
Scouring through the Internet, it did not really come as a surprise to read disparaging remarks in reaction to the prime minister’s latest statement.
Forgive me for thinking that we tend to regress compulsively; for we are guilty of being persistent whiners.
Neutrality dictates there is a need to uphold an individual’s rights to a fair trial. Draconian laws must not be used, especially to nullify political rivals.
I concur that there is a need to address terrorism, issues of national threats, religious and racial, but even these must be done with impartiality. Thus, the heavy burden of proof, as indicated by Najib, is a logical and just commitment.
Why then is he under attack for committing to a reasonable and fair mission? One can debate the system is such that there would be abuses, but at the very least, this prime minister is committing to eradicating injustices.
So what if it the election is close by? Najib is a politician, but it is hard to deny that he has been at the forefront of a series of reforms. The ISA was not his doing. The abolishment of the ISA is. That’s a fact. That’s his deed.
Let's not regress. If we do, bitterness will swallow us whole. If we nitpick too much, we will find faults and not move on. You'll hear no end to the debate. You’re bound to mess up your mind with accusations. Allegations of irregularities in individuals’ stance on the ISA are aplenty.
Even Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim had been “credited” for events leading up to the use of the ISA when it was invoked in Ops Lalang in 1987.
Mind you, Anwar was then the education minister and his ministry had appointed some some 100 senior assistants and principals to vernacular Chinese schools.
It provoked a storm of protest when it was learnt those appointed were Chinese who were not Mandarin-educated, and as a result, 106 individuals were arrested under the ISA.
That is history. The ISA, as Najib puts it, is going to be confined to just a mention in history books.
There is no substitute to getting the replacement laws right and for the ruling government to commit to delivering its promise of upholding justice and righteousness. But at the very least, the nation must walk through that door of reform first. It’s time to forgive, forget and collectively support what is right.
The government is listening more than ever. So why not give it a chance?Yushaimi Yahaya is Group Editorial Advisor. He tries his best to stay on the middle ground. He is reachable at [email protected]