Oh Singapura, Jangan Berpura-Pura
Lee Kuan Yew of Singapore has made certain remarks which has upset our politicians and our people. Our Prime Minister demanded clarification from Lee Kuan Yew and Singapore. Lee Kuan Yew issued this so called "apology" letter to our Prime Minister.
Yesterday (3 Oct 2006), The STAR carried the headline "No intention to meddle" and starts boldly with "REGRET " whilst The New Straits Times proudly displayed in its front page "Lee Says Sorry" - thus trumpeting our triumph loudly, making us believe that we have extracted an apology from Lee Kuan Yew.
Puhleez, Lee Kuan Yew has done everything BUT apologise to Malaysia and our Prime Minister for his remarks, so stop trying to pull the wool over our eyes and make us the laughing stock in Singapore. He has not shown any regret nor remorse for what he has said! We must be very daft and gullible indeed to believe that this letter even remotely resembles an apology. Anyone who reads this letter and comes to that conclusion needs to go for some English classes. There is a vast difference between saying "I'm sorry for what I said" and "I'm sorry that what I said caused you discomfort." In the first instance you are apologising for making those comments and in the second you are apologising for the consequences of your comments. IT IS NOT THE SAME THING. Read the whole letter. The Minister Mentor has the gall to justify his comments in his unconvincing attempt to "apologise".
Lee Kuan Yew could be taking his cue from Pope Benedict who recently "apologised" by saying "I am deeply sorry for the reactions in some countries to a few passages of my address... which were considered offensive to the sensibility of Muslims." Here the Pope thinks that Muslims cannot speak or understand English very well. He is not sorry for what he said (or rather what he quoted somone else to have said) BUT that he is sorry for the reactions it caused. Perhaps the Pope and Lee Kuan Yew employed the services of the same consultants to concoct their "apology" address/letter. Does the United Nations provide a standard precedent/template for world leaders to dish out everytime they offend a group of people - entitled " How to Say Sorry Without Actually Saying Sorry for What You Said"? If so President Bush (Friend of Singapore) should be given a copy. He doesn't even bother to apologise for anything and whilst we are at it, send one to Israel also (another Friend of Singapore).
Here are some excerpts from Lee Kuan Yew's letter which is supposed to convince us that this is an apology:-
"... you need a strong government who'll be able to, not only have the gumption, but the skill to say "No" in a very quiet, polite way that doesn't provoke them into doing something silly ". How arrogant and condescending can you get? Stop patronising us Kuan Yew! It is times like this that I miss the acerbic wit of our previous Prime Minister ,Tun Dr Mahathir (who wouldn't suffer fools like Lee Kuan Yew gladly) and I value the wisdom and foresight of Tunku Abdul Rahman in booting Lee Kuan Yew and Singapore out of Malaysia.
Then there is this part where he tries to "ampu" our Prime Minister where he says "Since you took over as Prime Minister..., relations between our two countries have much improved. Singaporeans... appreciate this..... I am so sorry ... (blah blah) after a decade of troubled relations with your predecessor, it is the last thing I wanted." Yeah sure, we were born yesterday Kuan Yew.
Our gentle, peace loving, non controversial Prime Minister has "taken note" of Lee Kuan Yew's "apology". Perhaps we should be magnanimous enough to forgive Lee Kuan Yew, bearing in mind his advanced age, he may have been having a "senile moment" when he made those comments. He should be referred to as Minister Mental instead. We should allow him to live his twilight years immersed in his fantasy that what he says has some impact on the rest of the world ... this founder of an insignificant dot on the world map he calls a country.