Monday, April 20, 2009

Revealing The Truth

I hadn't realise that Lee Jefford's incident took place quite close to the end of Muara Highway heading off to Berakas. It is the route that I take daily from home to town nearly every day. The bouquet of flowers laid by the side of the barriers are a sad reminder of the carelessness of some drivers and the consequences of their reckless driving. This incident has irrevocably changed the lives of the Lee's family and that of driver's family.
This past week has just been a constant reminder to me, my friends and my family of Lee's passing. I have never encountered Lee before, but hearing and reading about the tragedy in the papers has made me sad, angry, anxious but hopeful for a just resolution for Lee and her family. I know one thing for sure, the Bruneian police have excelled in their determination to find the driver. A hit and run elsewhere in the world would probably have taken much longer to solve or at worst, not at all. Hats off to the police officers!
I can't imagine what Lee's family is going through and my thoughts and prayers are with them. One thing that has frustrated my friends and I is this.
Reading some of the local blogs, we have been shocked at the irresponsibility of some comments posted on the blogs by anonymous guests.
Before the police had released information about the identity of the driver, comments were left as to the probable race of the driver on a few local blogs. I believe in speaking the truth. I believe in 'ahimsa' (in Sanskrit, it means to do no harm'). All religions teach peace, kindness and fairness in our attitudes and treatment of one another.
How can we move closer to racial harmony and a united nation when an incident like Lee's has set off some readers (sorry guys, not going to name the blog) ranting and bashing about their conviction that the driver "must" be a Chinese woman?!!
Yes, the blog sites exist to permit private individuals to speak with a measure of freedom of speech. But freedom of speech comes with an unspoken duty to speak and think with intergrity, with a code of ethics, with fairness.
I'm a Chinese woman. This racial bashing left me feeling sad and it made me feel deeply uncomfortable. I love my country, I believe in the integrity of the people of my country.
If you are going to speak out loud and write trashy stuff, then at least have the right convictions and evidence to condemn and accuse before following blindly into the wave of crowds that may head off in the wrong direction.
We are all angry at what has happened in the midst of all these frustrations, but we must be able to move forward. Could this incident change the mindset of drivers to drive cautiously? Could the government do something like installing speed cameras?
Be constructive, not destructive.

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