Yan's Corner - In Touch

Friday, February 10, 2006

In the light of His glory and grace

Hello darkness, my old friend
I’ve come to talk to you again.

This accurately describes the way I feel for the past 144 hours (counting 6 days).

Quite sometime ago, I begged to differ from Desi on this song, “Sound of Silence” written by Simon and Garfunkel in the 70’s.

Living in darkness – I am not. But I feel all the things of the earth grow strangely dim!

Feb 4 - I read the Sarawak Tribune publishing the caricatures of Prophet Muhammad in its World News page to illustrate a story of the reaction of the world to the caricatures. I thought what an “insensible” mistake. I was worried.

All the things of the earth around me grew strangely dim!

Feb 5 – I read the “Notification” in the Sarawak Tribune regretting the publication of the caricatures and informed the public that the editor on duty has voluntarily resigned.

All the things of the earth grew strangely dim!

Feb 6 – Another “Notification” was put up in the newspaper indicating that only one person was responsible for the publication of the caricatures. Other newspapers reported that the Group Editor of Sarawak Tribune was served a show-cause letter by the Internal Security Ministry for the publication of the caricatures.

All the things of the earth grew strangely dim!

Feb 7 - Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi ticks off the Sarawak Tribune for publishing the controversial caricatures. He says the newspaper had been irresponsible.- The Sarawak Press and it editorial committee issue another apology, saying they are very sorry for any damage or hurt caused to the Muslim community.- Senior Tribune officials are summoned to the Internal Security Ministry in Putrajaya for a meeting with Deputy Minister Datuk Noh Omar.- After meeting Noh, Tribune editorial adviser Datuk Idris Buang accuses Melanyi of "inserting the caricatures right before the crucial time". Melanyi counters that the page had been cleared by his superior.
(I lifted the events of the day Feb 7 above from NST)

All the things of the earth grew strangely dim!

Feb 8 – NST reported that the Cabinet decided to suspend the newspaper indefinitely.

All the things of the earth grew strangely dim!

Feb 9 – The Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said the permit of The Sarawak Press Sdn Bhd, the publisher of the Sarawak Tribune newspaper, has been suspended immediately until further notice.

All the things of the earth grew strangely dim!

Having been in journalism for almost three decades, there were many times when the world grew dim, but very, very soon light came back.

At the age of 17 going on 18, I stepped into the Borneo Post’s office one evening. I met the boss. The big boss gave me a piece of news to be translated into English. I did it with not much difficulty. I remember the boss sent the translated news to the editor to assess. I was asked to report work the next day. I reported to work without even asking the pay.

I made mistakes too. The first mistake I made was misspelling the name of a prominent businessman in town. The “U” was replaced by “A”. It turned out disastrous. That businessman’s name read exactly as the “unspeakable male sex organ”. My superior took the responsibility to apologize to this businessman. My identity was not revealed despite the strong demand and threat of canceling all his advertisement orders. My boss stood by his professional ethics and principle. He protected me.

On that day, all the things of the earth grew strangely dim in the light of my boss’ principle!

One fine day, my newspaper suddenly decided to “appoint” a minister to develop “communism”. The blunder was, the Minister of Agriculture and Community Development was published as the Minister of Agriculture and Communist Development. At that time, communists were causing much trouble in Sarawak. Having a minister to develop communism? The seriousness and insensibility of the mistake was no lesser than the publication of the caricatures of Prophet Muhammad. My boss took it all. He did not set the poor proof reader and made her responsible for the oversight.

On that day, all the things of the earth grew strangely dim in the light of my boss’s sympathy!

Another fateful day, one technical staff inadvertently inserted a Minister’s photo into an obituary. The Minister concerned accepted a “red packet” graciously and wiped off the grave mistake of my newspaper. My boss took it all.

On that day, all the things of the earth grew strangely dim in the light of the big heart and forgiving spirit of the Minister.

I count myself very blessed to have boss who covered all.

A few hours ago, I talked to my 10-year-old son over a cup of coffee (he has Milo) about the suspension of the licence of Sarawak Tribune. The 10-year-old asked whether he could give his new year “ang-pow” to the workers who were jobless after the closing down of the newspaper. He counted,

I have only RM1,000. Less the 10% given to God as tithing on Sunday, I only have RM900. I think it’s only enough for one person’s one month salary. How about the other 299?

The things of the earth grows strangely dim in the light of young Chris’ acts of kindness.

This is one of the Chorus I would always like to sing when I lead my Bible Study group –

Turn your eyes upon Jesus
Look full in His wonderful face
And the things of the earth will grow strangely dim
In the light of His glory and grace.

Indeed, there are still some kind souls in the world. God is still there. The things of the earth grow dim because of the light from His glory and grace!

I shall not blog for the next 144 hours again for I am going to turn my eyes to up above ….  

7 comment(s):

Well put. Look at our own heart. We are all sinners.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:59 am  

Thank you for reminding us to turn our eyes upon Jesus for only when we do this, we shall find peace amidst the turmoil in this world.

By Blogger Lump Of Clay, at 11:59 am  

Thanks for stories from the mill -- as can only be told by the miller -- you.

Thank Chris for his BIG heart, it's the thought that matters. Three hugs:) and tell him I'll cold storage HHaridas tehtarik for him!

By Blogger desiderata, at 4:30 pm  

Hi, Yan,

Thanks for sharing those instances of a boss with strong principles.

Unfortunately, the reality of our part of the world today is more of selfish and unscrupulous deeds, even at the expense of innocent workers. How many young politicians today have that sense of responsibility and virtue of charity like your young Chris?

When there is a growing decadent leadership, there will also be endless ludicrous happenings.

By Blogger Joepsc, at 3:48 am  

"When there is a growing decadent leadership, there will also be endless ludicrous happenings."

At the stage we are in after so many years of strong leadership(or dictatorship), it is no more growing decadence but a full blown one.

Praying is one thing but I believe the Churches have just been too compliant.

As a Catholic, I feel the bishops could start by returning all the state titles that were bestowed on them.

By Blogger H J Angus, at 12:14 pm  

Your boss who protected his staff and took everything in his stride; he's a real hero. Recently, my senior colleague placed the blame entirely on me when confronted by his boss, ignoring his contribution to the problem. That guy is a real zero.

By Blogger fishtail, at 12:25 am  

Fishtail,

Oh dear! Glad that you are able to relate it!

All the best. Happy Valentine's Day!

By Blogger Yan, at 5:56 am  

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