What's the difference? Oh, aplenty!
Harry Lee@LKY in his letter to Abdullah Badawi said he was sorry for the “discomfort” caused by comments he made. Lee said that was the last thing he wanted.
“I had no intention to meddle in your politics. Indeed, I do not have the power to influence Malaysia's politics or to incite the feelings of the Chinese in Malaysia.”
Lee said he made the remarks in a free-flowing dialogue session with former US Secretary of Treasury Larry Summers before many foreign delegates attending the IMF/ WB meeting on Sept 15.
Lee said “Singapore needs a strong government to maintain good relations as Malaysian politicians considers Singapore to be Chinese and expect Singapore to be 'complaint' and must comply with their every requests."
Lee also pointed out in his letter that Malaysian politicians including Dr Mahathir and many others had publicly warned Malaysian Malays that if they ever lost power, they risked the same fate as Malays in Singapore, whom they alleged were marginalised and discriminated against.
He added that from time to time when Malaysian politicians attacked Singapore fiercely over some bilateral issue but some of them told the republic's politicians privately to just accept that as a part of Malaysian politics and not to react to those attacks.
“Singapore understands the reality of Malaysian politics. We have never protested at these attacks on our multi-racial system or our policies, except to clarify our own position when necessary.
“But we have to explain to our people the root cause of these difficulties in our bilateral relations.
“Otherwise Singaporeans will believe that their own government is doing wrong either to our own people or to Malaysia.
“The international audience will come to their own judgement of the true position regardless of what I say,” he added.
Lee also pointed out that this was not the first time he had made similar remarks and “in fact I had said less than what I had written in my memoirs published in 1998.”
So, did LKY apologise or was "Sorry"? Each audience will come to their own judgment, but for me, he never did felt sorry except for the fact that it could have been seen as meddling into Malaysian affairs of which he did not intend and have no intention.
In fact, the letter sharply reminds Malaysian Politicians, particularly UMNO, of their inner characteristics - the finger pointing culture; that they had on so many occassions accused the Singapore govt of Marginalisation and Discrimination which was in reality a reflection of the BN own system of government. The saying goes, you point a finger at the other but you fail to see that you did point the other four at yourself. Anyway, this is immaterial as they are blind or had never opened our eyes when they were pointing fingers.
Lets hear the comments made:
"This should be a lesson for the future - that both sides should not make inappropriate comments."
It's a fair comment; non-interventionist policy... "u scratch my back, I scratch urs".
"In this particular case, it's important that Lee understands the seriousness of his statement.."
- Syed Hamid Albar.
In this particular case... Syed Hamid only wants to make reference to this particular case because he was the one on many other cases making disparaging remarks about Singapore. So, what he denotes is, it doesn't matter when we are wrong, but it matters when the other is wrong and he must apologise and correct it. This is our philosophy, this is BN's philosophy and principles.
In fact, this principle was applied and enunciated by none other than Hishamuddin in the Chinese school repair contract scandal issue. Investigation revealed that the contractor had done works worth $3,000 and had claimed $30,000 of which the claim were certified and approved. The school voiced their concerned with Ong Tee Keat (Deputy Higher Education Minister) and OTK 's comment was that the issue is the responsibility of Hishamuddin's ministry and it is the education ministry who must be accountable. What happens thereafter, is known to every Malaysians. OTK was reprimanded.
Asked for his comments since Ong had been proved right about the misappropriation of funds, Hishammuddin said it was not a question of misappropriation of funds. It was the question of Principles vs Facts and principles takes precedence over facts. So even if other ministers or parliamentarian sees corruption, the principle of BN is "Non-Interventionist policy", do not interfere!
Hishamuddin's reply: "There are two things here. One is the BN principle and another is the facts. [The issue] was the manner in which the issue was brought up. "
"But the way the issue was brought up by Ong has gone against the BN principle.
"His statement gives the perception that allocations for all Chinese schools have been misappropriated or all Education Ministry officials are corrupt. Works Minister Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu visited the school and said that the work carried out was in fact shoddy and did not commensurate with the funds allocated for the job."
Hishammuddin said it was clear now that the Education Ministry was not involved but the Works Ministry officials who were at fault.
So, Hishamuddin's contention is he was not wrong and he need not apologise to OTK. It should be Samy Vellu who should apologise because his ministry is not corrupt; it's JKR that's corrupt.
"It comes under the jurisdiction of Works Ministry. That is why its minister Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu ... "
Hishammuddin said the fact was that there was misappropriation of funds and he promised that he would be the first to take the culprits to court.
"I thank Datuk Seri Samy Vellu and I give him my full support to take action against whoever is at fault... be it the contractor or the ministry officials."
Where is jurisprudence? What rule of law do we have? Principles takes precedence over factual crime? Natural law, positivism, utilitarianism, modern jurisprudence? What sort of legal and governmental system do we have? The law of the jungle, we can summarised.