From: Su Min
Subject: Koh bs
Monday 28th October 1996
monday musing by Koh BS, Straits Times 28.10.96, set me thinking....
The public response to the case of Dr Wannabe seems to reflect The Ugly Singaporean. For example, how many letters has the press received with the sentiments "There, but for the grace of God, go I?". None, I take it. Let mine be the first one.
A man with a yearning for public respect and recognition is driven to forge his certificates and apply for a house officer's job. It is not the right thing to do. No normal person would do it. He must have some severe personality disorder and psychological problem. Yes, justice has to be done and justice must be seen to be done. Let justice take it course. That is what our legal system is all about. But we on the outside looking on should temper our sense of justice with mercy.
"How can they let this happen?"
"Why was the Ministry of Health sleeping?"
The crowds scream for blood.
"Let heads roll".
In a frenzy the unarmed slaves are thrown to the hungry lions.
"Kill. Kill. Crucify."
A teacher once said that we have all erred, and that we all fall short of perfection.
Yes, a mistake has been made on the part of the administration.
The verifying system has to be upgraded.
The monitoring system has to be improved.
The loopholes have to be closed.
Doubtless, a committee will be formed to look into that.
And the perpetuator has been consigned to jail for 5 months..
"Too harsh, “ some might say.
"Too lenient" others might retort.
It is my view that we have a justice system that knows what to do.
Let us pray that social rehabilitation may take place after appropriate psychological counselling.
"There, but for the grace of God, go I".
This comment was made as a famous person watched a poor criminal being dragged off to be hanged for stealing a loaf of bread.
Our nation will not progress to a gracious caring compassionate society until we learn to humble ourselves and see that EVERY error that fellow man commits so easily could be committed by ourselves.
As I walked through the Holocaust museum in Jerusalem during a visit in 1994, I was appalled by the inhumanity of man to man. And in my meditations for the day, it seemed to me that I myself could very easily have acted in the same way: beating prisoners, exterminating them, if I was on the side with the power and authority to do so. Power corrupts. Absolutely!
Genocide, rape, robbery, murder. These are the big ones.
But are the lesser ones any less evil? Do not the lesser ones also make us wicked? And one step leads to another.
The "lesser ones" are just a scant step away from the "big ones".
Rage. Anger. Jealousy. Hatred. Bitterness, Grumbling. Selfish ambition. Righteous indignation. Self- centred Pride. Are these not characteristics of The Singaporean?
A good leader once said that we are to love our neighbours as ourselves. He loved his neighbours with compassion.
The Greek word for compassion is "Splagchnizomai", pronounced something like "splangkh-nid-zom- ahee": it means to have the bowels yearn, to feel within your spleen, to have sympathy, to pity, to be moved with compassion. His love for the needy neighbour, the widow, the orphan, the downtrodden, reached deep down inside his very bowels, he pitied them, he was moved with deep emotion for them, his innards churned and yearned to relieve their distress.
Can we learn to love our neighbour?
Grace love and peace
For any comments or enquiries please write to Dr. Lim Su Min
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