Tuesday, May 15, 2007

JJ and the Moorthy Sisters: No Formal Apology Yet !

I am apalled and shocked !

I thought Jamaluddin Jarjis (JJ) had apologised personally to Sheela / Sheena Moorthy !

I didn't know that until I accessed Mr. Lim's blog. I checked that some visitors came from his address and came to this shocking realisation.

Mr. Lim Kit Siang wrote the article " Jamaludin Jarjis - stop censoring the press and be man enough to make public apology to Sheena Moorthy " in his blog.

Link: http://blog.limkitsiang.com/?p=229

Dr. Sheela responded to Mr. Lim on the 'apology given' issue:
Well, neither me nor my sister have received a formal apology from him. There are rumors circulating that he apologized and I saw them on some blogs, so all I know is what the rest of you also know. I have also NOT received any news from any of the officials that I have written to.

She added:
I agree the problem my sister and I have highlighted might be the tip of the iceberg of all the misconducts going on in our country but people have to learn to stand up for their rights and beliefs, politics aside. It just goes to show the basic upbringing we have had.

I am ashamed of how this whole issue was handled or mishandled I should say. I would like to hear the PM’s say on this. Does he think it’s funny too??? Please remind yourself that the world is watching and to just ignore issues like this just paints a BAD picture internationally. My colleagues are already questioning the integrity and sincerity of a Government that condones such behavior.

Apparently, Dr. Sheela had written complaint letters to Pak Lah, several Ministers, especially the chief representative of Indians in Malaysia, MIC president, Samy Vellu.

The strange thing is Samy Vellu is still mum over the issue. Isn't he supposed to stand up for the Indian community?

According to the article, Dr. Sheela had given interviews to Bernama, New Straits Times and the Star. None of the interviews were published. Is there a blackout or one-sided censorship of issues in Malaysia? Otherwise, how could this happen?

Dr. Sheela commented that this is “a sorry and scary state of affairs” and “So much for World Press Freedom Day”. I can understand how she feels. Freedom? Come on. Malaysia has almost no freedom for the press. Check out, investigate who owns the major papers in Malaysia. Not to mention, the annual license renewal exercise of Printing and Publishing Review Act does not make it better.

Not only the Press is under threat of unfair censorship. These days, Information Minister Zainuddin Maidin is talking about 'controlling the internet', 'registering bloggers' or 'classifying bloggers' for fear of his so-called 'lies' from the internet. We thought internet would be free. We thought Malaysians are wise enough to think for themselves. Think again !

Coming back to the original story, I have read that JJ had indeed apologised, but not directly to the sisters. It was said in "Rocky's Bru" blog that he did that in a gathering of a few hundreds students but not in the presence of the Moorthy sisters. Sheena was away in Boston at that time.

Link: http://rockybru.blogspot.com/2007/05/jj-apologises-to-sheena.html
Link: http://shanghaistephen.blogspot.com/2007/05/minister-apologises.html

Perhaps, JJ should have apologised in the presence of the sisters. Maybe the government should issue a formal statement.

That would have minimised a lot of confusion or further misunderstanding.

The Moorthy sisters also wanted to make sure that the government condemns racism formally. The government should do something about this. The image of the country is at stake. 2007 is 'Visit Malaysia Year'. What would Americans and Malaysian students perceive Malaysia and communicate to their friends and relatives?

All in all, at least, somehow or rather JJ apologised, a quality missing from most politicians in Malaysia.

Please read my other entries on this issue:
JJ and Sheela/Sheena Moorthy in California: Racism and the Shallowness of Skin Colour
JJ and the Moorthy Sisters: Ministers Should Think Before Speaking
JJ and the Moorthy Sisters: Should We Accept JJ's Apology?

No comments: