Thursday, 28 September 2023

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From half-baked apology to non-apology to no one asked for apology

The People’s Association (PA) has been called out for using a wedding photograph of a Muslim couple as a standee for Hari Raya decorations without permission.

On one hand, PA has apologised; but on the other, it quickly named the vendor for downloading and using the wedding photo from an online source for the standee.

The apology certainly did not appease Ms Sarah Bagharib, whose wedding photograph was used without permission.

As she noted, PA’s “hastiness in sharing the name of the vendor behind the display reads like an attempt to distance and deflect blame” from its own role in approving the concept.

Shall we call the apology by PA a half-baked apology?

Just like the one recently issued by Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) CEO Ng Yat Chung following his outburst at a press conference, where he expressed “umbrage” with a reporter’s questions.

The Straits Times reported Ng as saying: “Being a direct and blunt-speaking person, I apologise for any offence I might have caused and regret any distraction from the merits of the proposed restructuring.”

Firstly, he attributed his outburst to him being blunt, secondly, he apologised “for any offence I might have caused” and thirdly, his regret was the distraction it caused.

Does it come across as another half-baked apology?

Then there was the non-apology from Ivan Lim, who withdrew as a People’s Action Party (PAP) candidate for the 2020 General Election following of a string of allegations against him.

In announcing his withdrawal, Ivan said: “The controversy has also caused intense pain and stress for my family. I cannot put my family through this.”

He did not apologise and was in fact withdrawing to spare his family pain and stress.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong then declared that “it would be unfair to Ivan” to let the matter rest, adding that “after the elections, the party will investigate the veracity of allegations against Ivan and we will come to a view on the matter”.

A non-apology followed by a declaration to get to the bottom of it, followed by total silence after more than a year.

The one that takes the cake has got to be the response of Minister Josephine Teo when asked in Parliament whether the Government would apologise to migrant workers for the COVID-19 outbreak in dormitories.

Mrs Teo replied: “I have not come across one single migrant worker himself that has demanded an apology.”

Case closed – nobody asked for apology, therefore no apology needed.

Now you know why our Ministers are the highest paid in the world.

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