Monday, December 24, 2012

The Michael Palmer – Laura Ong affair: Forgiveness will help build a better Singapore society


As I was reading the many reports in the media and comments on the internet about Michael Palmer and Laura Ong, I couldn't help but wonder why many in our society have become so unforgiving. 

The photograph of Palmer in Sunday’s New Paper (Sunday 16 December 2012) on the front page tore at my heartstrings.  For here was a man who has done so much for his residents, sacrificing family time so that he can bring hope to the needy and when one mistake is made, his whole career and personal life is damaged. It is really a sad state of affairs because you can do 101 good things, but the moment you make one wrong turn, all the 101 good deeds that you've done, is clean forgotten.

As human beings, we can never be perfect for to err is human. Only God is perfect.

 
It is evident to me that many of the high profile sex scandals involving top civil servants are those who are holding highly stressful jobs that demand long working hours.  And when such a scenario takes place, those who are lonely, stressed out and feel unloved can develop relationships with one another over a period of time.  

But we must never forget that it takes years to build up trust, and only seconds to destroy it.

An affair is directly proportional to one's spirituality.  When our spiritual foundation regardless of the faith we practice - Christianity, Buddhism, Taoism, Hinduism etc is weak, we become vulnerable into doing bad things.  Remember although God is watching all the time, so is the devil. The only difference is the devil works overtime - to tempt us into committing sin and doing ungodly things.

So let’s condemn the sin not the person committing the wrong act.  As the saying goes, “Don’t look down on a man unless you are willing to pick him up.”

As with any relationship, be it in an office setting or personal encounters, every happy successful partnership begins and ends with the same ingredient – the willingness to negotiate.  The willingness to forgive. 

This is why talks on marriages should be promoted at all levels - schools, government agencies, the CCs, etc.


Despite the numerous crimes and arthrocities committed against the South Africans, former South Africa President Nelson Mandela was able to forgive.  But before forgiveness could come about, Mandela wanted to know the truth so that he could work towards forgiveness and reconciliation.  That was the measure of the man!  And we can all learn from Mandela to build a better Singapore where forgiveness becomes second nature.

My Christmas wish for Michael Palmer and Laura Ong and their families is that you can come out of this episode stronger and more resilient as you struggle to rebuild your lives with the unflagging support from your family members whom I hope will stand by you through thick and thin.

Merry Christmas to one and all. God Bless!

 

RAYMOND ANTHONY FERNANDO   

 

1 comment:

pete tay said...

we sure to hear more and more of such cases, adultery has taken a diff turn for the worse in recent years, not just in the east, west is not spared either.
in recent coffee gossip, overheard this conversation about a grassroots guy from YH CC or ZH CC (in the western part of this tiny land), a marine service guy married apparently with some kids, got awarded for being a family model for fellow grassroots while at the same time was flirting with some women that almost caused the families to break out, imagine how he is ruining innocent families and think about other social repercussions, and the kids and families from the women's side, unsure if the family have reported to police or any other channel? man... an uniformed personnel, a seasoned grassroots recognised for being a family model by some silly organizations, and sexing with his extramarital partner(s)... without getting caught doesn't mean not guilty yah...be vigilant whether serving volunteer org or not, its your life your reputation, their lives their futures...