Malaysia Dateline

Apologies are meaningless, unless prompt with action

The issue came about when a ‘Malaysian flag’ with a five-pointed star was seen during a “live” broadcast of the 28th Lum Mun Chak Cup basketball competition.

The flag also featured 10 stripes instead of the correct 14.

The Malaysia Basketball Association (MABA) has apologised and taken responsibility for wrongly displaying the flag on its stadium screen.

“We apologise for this mistake and we take full responsibility for such actions. Please forgive us, as we are always striving to grow and develop the sport of basketball in Malaysia.”

But then, MABA is 61 years old, should have matured and behaved rather than vice versa.

Apologizing is alright, and it should come with action. Actions speak louder than words.
There are times when people we care about might’ve done something they regret, and their apologies were genuine.

Apologies are meaningless unless they prompt new action, and a lot of times, they don’t.

You can’t simply blame the contractors, of course the contractor involved should also be penalized.

Though we don’t have a specific law on the Jalur Gemilang, we have some general laws in the Penal Code to handle those who disrespect the Malaysian flag.

We have used Section 504 of the Penal Code and Section 14 of the Minor Offences Act 1955 to charge people who disrespect our flag, one of the times being the Australians who stripped down to Jalur Gemilang swimming trunks at the F1 Malaysia Grand Prix in 2016.

It is really sad and disheartening to know that there are still Malaysians, including politicians, who are in the dark and fail to understand about the need to respect the Malaysian flag and national anthem.

From very young ages, we’re taught to apologize after doing something wrong , whether it’s a horrible act or even something petty to the point where apologies almost feel like formalities.

It’s as if we’re accustomed to saying “sorry,” but not always accustomed to feeling remorse.

When apologies are actually genuine, though, they’re some of the most powerful displays of affection that people can make.

Apologies prove that a person cares enough about someone (or something) to push his or her pride aside and work toward a resolution.

When someone isn’t actually apologetic, are the words “I’m sorry” truly necessary?

If people never admit they’re wrong or look to make amends, it will only be a matter of time before they lose their general awareness of how their actions affect the people around them.

Apologies remind us to be conscious.

When it comes to more serious matters that require apologies, however, it becomes more complex.

The best way to show someone you’re sorry and regretful of some particular action is to prove it by avoiding that same action in the future.

Verbal apology might be a necessary first step.

Public apologies may have “powerful effects” on the person apologizing, yet I question their effect on the people they’re directed toward.

As an example, when was the last time a politician made a public apology on the heels of some scandal that was strong enough to encourage an entire nation to simply forgive the politician for what he was apologizing for?

Apologies are things that should be said as a way to display awareness and self-consciousness, but hardly can they compensate or make up for the actions that should follow them.

Unless they spark new, more thoughtful, action, in the end, they’re, again, just words.

* Azizi Ahmad is a senior educator