Power of forgiveness — Kannan Pasamanickam

MAY 16 — These mornings I wake up with so much happiness in my heart. It is a great time to be alive and living in Malaysia. Our beloved country is at the crack of a new dawn — a beginning full of hope for the future of our children and grandchildren.

None of us could have foreseen this just a few weeks ago when it appeared that all hope was lost and that evil would continue to march on our land.

We have to be thankful to many for the change that has occurred. Foremost is Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and his indomitable wife Datin Sri Wan Azizah and her children. This family has demonstrated again to mankind the “Power of Forgiveness.”

One cannot begin to imagine how this family could forgive the man who put their father/husband in jail, and chose to work with him for the greater good.

Having listened to the many interviews given by Anwar’s family members I can just about appreciate the pain they have felt/are feeling. But if not for the forgiveness they felt in their hearts, we would not have achieved what we did on May 9 when we wiped evil from the Malaysian landscape.

On the other hand, I am convinced that Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad is a changed man — he has acknowledged his past mistakes and will take our nation to heights we have never seen — without Tun the Malay tsunami would not have happened.

This elder statesman who shows no signs of slowing down at the age of 93 years, is a brilliant strategist and has ticked all the right boxes, hitting the ground running from the time he was confirmed as prime minister. It gives me so much reason to be giddily optimistic.

And the cherry in the cake has to be the peaceful transfer of power — there were so many rumours to the contrary in the weeks leading up to the election. Credit has to be given to all who were responsible — the previous government and the powers that were, in particular.

All Malaysians should be very proud of this — which is unique in emergent democracies in the global south.

To quote Ghandi: “The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.” And to

quote Martin Luther King: “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that” and Bernard Meltzer “When you forgive, you in no way change the past — but you sure do change the future” and finally the selfless Nelson Mandela “They must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.”

Thank you Kak Wan, thank you Anwar — surely the rewards of heaven await your sacrifices for our nation.


I had the priviledge of working with Datin Sri Dr wan Azizah in the Department of Medicine, UHKL for a few months in the 1990s. Always humble and kind few knew of her standing in society and her many achievements — she studied medicine at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland where she was awarded a gold medal in obstetrics and gynaecology and later graduated as a qualified ophthalmologist.

* This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of Malay Mail.

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