The personal indiscretion of public figures is now the talk of the town (in the social media only) and receiving unnecessarily extra attention that should not be the case. And ministers have been pleading for privacy and to respect and protect the innocent parties like children and family members. Such calls for decency were a bit unnatural, hypocritical and not necessary when decency and privacy were respected in the past when others fell from grace due to such indiscretion. Many politicians left the scene quietly without anyone knowing what was happening, until Yaw Shin Long’s case. Many ‘gooder’ than good people were asking for his blood, wanted to drag him through the mud. Must tell, must tell, for the sake of transparency and accountability, must tell all.
Who were the culprits or the most indecent ones calling for more details of such discretions to be aired in public just to score political points. Kee chiu please.
Humans are all subject to temptations of all kinds, greed, power, sex, corruption just to mention a few. It is human to err but what to do? The offenders often withdrew and felt guilty of what they had done which was enough a punishment. There is no need to rub it in with more salt or to make a public issue to embarrass the offenders. Whether one forgives the offender or otherwise is a personal choice. And if it is a crime, the law would take its natural course. If it is a moral or ethical issue, the court of social justice and conscience would extract the price accordingly.
The most decent and honest man in this regard was Lee Kuan Yew. When faced with such an embarrassing situation, he said, ‘I do not expect my ministers to be celibate… but if it becomes an issue, they should just resign.’ This is as close to what he actually said then. He did not call for more accountability and details to be aired in the public. Several of his ministers just resigned and left quietly. It is a private matter to be dealt with by the affected parties, and legally if it is a legal issue.
Unfortunately we have more than righteous, holy and morally spotless people today to demand a public airing and dressing down for personal indiscretions. How decent are these people? I am not writing this to defend or protect the offenders. Just cannot tahan the hypocrisy of rogues behaving like priests and angels. Wait for the day when they are in the shoes of the offenders. Maybe they realized their past follies and are asking for privacy now for reasons that served their interests best.