In case Samy Vellu thought that his publicity stunts would earn him some much need ‘good press coverage,’ help patch up the wedge with Hindraf, and soften the disapproval that a vast majority of Indians have for him and his MIC, the recent comments RS Thanenthiran of Hindraf as reported in Malaysiakini must come as a real blow to Samy Vellu and his MIC bandwagon. What a shame indeed. Poor Samy, he can’t seem to make much head-way with his public relations ploys. Perhaps he’s still operating under the delusion that the Indian body politic is as naïve and gullible as it was decades ago.
As I had commented in a previous column, Samy is appearing to polish up his public image by profiling some MIC related news, which inevitably and predictably involved featuring him in the spot light. No, I don’t think it fooled many of us. Samy's most recent and self-serving stunt along this line has been to talk up his apparent effort to secure the release of the Hindraf 5.
And if the recent retort by Thanenthiran is any indication, it sure doesn’t look like Samy is going to fool those in Hindraf either. According to the former, Samy ‘should kneel and beg for (forgiveness) for his wrongdoings (against) the community if he is sincere and honest about seeking freedom for our leaders.' Thanenthiran is further quoted as saying that ‘Samy Vellu reportedly called on the government to detain our leaders. Now he has suddenly emerged to champion their freedom when he has lost all his government powers.’
Now if the above response from Hindraf doesn’t put Samy Vellu and the MIC’s predicament and lack of credibility into perspective, I’m not sure what will. I for one want to congratulate Thanenthiran and Hindraf for their kind gesture, graciousness, and big heart for willing to forgive Samy – provided, of course, he complies with what you’re quoted to have said and publicly begs for an apology. Frankly, I’m not sure that after all that has transpired between Hindraf and Samy, I could put myself in Thanenthiran’s shoes and forgive someone like Samy. Perhaps it’s just my own idiosyncrasy but this would be an extremely difficult bridge for me to personally cross.
Why, you ask?
Well, it’s actually quite simple: When I can no longer trust someone, I cannot hence blindly have faith in the sincerity of their intentions. I deeply believe that to earn the forgiveness of others, one must redeem oneself not just by words – especially not words that have been known to be hollow and, at best, meaningless – but rather through deeds. I think you know what I mean; surely Samy’s familiar with what I’m referring to. Indians call it: karma. You see, deeds have healing powers; it’s like medicine for the soul. But one only heals and redeems oneself over the long haul, through a long process of credible deeds and not by means of a brief spat of publicity stunts. After all, we have arguably – for over a generation now - witnessed Samy’s MIC preside over the deterioration and erosion of the status of Indians in Malaysia. It’ll also take more than thrusting oneself in the media limelight for some favourable attention in order to regain the trust of the public.
Having said that, there’s no doubt in my mind that the gesture from Thanenthiran and Hindraf to avail Samy the opportunity to beg for forgiveness is such a reasonable and decent one. After all, if the tables were turned, do you think Samy would be as gracious as to forgive those who betray him? Hmm….