Saturday, December 30, 2017
When an excuse is cloaked as an apology
Salleh Said Keruak
Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s so-called apology today sounds more like an excuse rather than an apology. Mahathir said, “Before I end my speech, I would like to apologise if I have offended anyone. Like other human beings, I’m not alone in saying or doing wrong.”
This sounds like a ‘by the way before I go’ sort of statement. In other words, it is not an important issue but just selit masuk since he already happens to be on stage talking. And the apology is so general it can mean anything. Is Mahathir talking about the forex losses, or the Maminco disaster, or the jailing of Anwar Ibrahim, or the Constitutional Crisis, or Perwaja? Or is he apologising for all the mistakes he made in his 22 years as Prime Minister?
For an apology to be sincere it has to be specific. And the apology must be made to the aggrieved party or parties. This type of apology can be denied later since it lacks detail. Or it can shift to cover what needs to be covered as the need arises. Anyway, it sounds more like Mahathir is offering an excuse for his mistakes by saying it is normal for humans to make mistakes — so that means he cannot be blamed for merely being human.