Friday, October 26, 2007

I Expect An Apology!

Hari Raya is one of the days in Muslim culture where a person seeks forgiveness of all his sins from the father and mother. It does coincide with one of the Ten Commandments - Honor Thy Mother and Father.

On 22nd October, a pro-government MP by the name of Badruddin Amiruldin has called Karpal Singh, an opposition MP - "Now you sitting on a wheelchair. God has punished you."

I really find that this remark covers every disabled Malaysian in Malaysia as if they are being punished for their sins. But I imagine of what about those who got struck by polio by their young age. Take Dr. Chandra Muzaffar an example. A successful analyst who holds a Ph.d despite bound to wheelchair due to polio. How about Roosevelt, who became one of the most successful US Presidents in history despite being struck by polio?

The world has witnessed successful people despite being handicapped. Ray Charles is an example of a successful musician despite being blind. My office colleague Shafiri is a first-degree holder and holds a job despite being blind. Why did this man make that remark so offending to disabled citizens in Malaysia?

One of the traditional Malay culture principals that the elders impart to the young is to respect the elderly and the disabled. It seems that this man has forgotten or old habits die hard, after all, Maaf Zahir Batin is being used already during Raya.

I wonder what happens to my 85-year old man who was to rely on a wheelchair at times when he goes out. I appreciated that there are some good Samaritans that are willing to give space for the disabled to go without left behind for an extended period of time. At the Hari Raya open house, there are some elderly are given preference because of their disabilities and age.

Like many out there who have disabled friends or family members, Badaruddin Amirluddin will have to show his face and apologize to every disabled person. Because, if he doesn't, expect people not to vote for him or jeer him everytime we hear him in the news.

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