For a long time, I have boycotted our state media, refusing to read propaganda after propaganda in favour of our ruling party.
However, recently while at my friend’s place, the above title shouted for my attention, not because I think it is anything worth reading, but more because of the crap coming out yet again from our million-dollar ministers.
To err is human; to forgive, divine – Khaw Boon Wan on 27 Nov 09 , (read it here). This exact same phrase, drew me to Yong Vui Kong, a young drug offender whose clemency plea was again rejected by our dear President.
Yong was only 19 at the time of his arrest, which again draws me to our fallen from grace ex-Ms Singapore Ris Low, who, despite committing 60 credit card frauds, got away with just a probation order due to her young tender age at the time of the offense.
3 cases, 3 different ‘errs’. 4 humans involved, but all treated differently even though it was not entirely different.
Let me go through the similarity.
Firstly, KKH errs, 2 lives were involved. Families of patients suffer distress and anxiety. Same argument for drug trafficking offenders, that lives were destroyed through drugs and their families suffer distress.
Secondly, both Ris Low and Yong Vui Kong were both 19 at the time of offense. Ris Low had 60 cases TIC (taken into consideration) during her sentencing, and I boldly assume this might be first time the DPP allows so many cases to be TIC for sentencing. 60 cases of similar offenses show a sign to me of recalcitrance on Ris Low’s part, but she was given a 2nd chance and got away with a light sentence.
In comparison, young Yong, given the environment he was brought up in, the company he mixed with, his vulnerability to exploitation from the gangsters he worked for, why wasn’t he given a 2nd chance in life?
Young Yong, like the humans in KKH (in this case the pharmacists), and like the human in the credit card fraud (Ris Low) is too a human who errs. If to err is human, to forgive, divine, why is it not applicable in young Yong case? Why wasn’t Yong treated like a normal human who errs?
When ministers make mistakes, we were told “it’s a honest mistakes, move on”, “what to do, it’s happened”. But when lesser mortals makes mistakes, the authorities spare no effort to punish, prosecute and shame them publicly.
‘To our minsters, I challenge you to make good what you have claimed : to err is human, to forgive, divine.
To our minsters, I hope you do sleep well at night knowing you have yet taken another young life who is a son, a brother, a nephew, a friend like any human.
To Yong and family, be brave. Judgement day will come for them when it is their time to meet the Divine.