THE HARDEST WORD: The Art of Saying Sorry

Sat 4 Sep, 2010, 8.30pm
Presented by the Say Sorry Day Campaign
Admission Free

SCARLETT O’HARA: Oh, oh, Rhett. For the first time I’m finding out what it is to be sorry for something I’ve done.
RHETT BUTLER: Dry your eyes. If you had it all to do over again, you’d do no differently. You’re like the thief who isn’t the least bit sorry he stole, but he’s terribly, terribly sorry he’s going to jail.
– "Gone With The Wind", Sidney Howard

"True remorse is never just a regret over consequence; it is a regret over motive." – Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic’s Notebook, 1960

JUDGES, LEGISLATORS AND MINISTERS like to believe that law and punishment can correct criminals and teach us how to be moral citizens. After all, politicians have to believe they have some use! But punishments only inspire fear and the law merely teaches us how to escape being caught.

The law does not teach lessons, second chances do. Therefore, a few Malaysian artists, actors, writers and musicians have come together to help us reflect honestly on our capacity to do wrong, to seek forgiveness, to be forgiven, and to forgive.


1. AMIR MUHAMMAD, critically-acclaimed filmmaker-writer, shares a montage of clips from old Malay movies featured in his new book 120 Malay Movies.
2. ANNE JAMES & JO KUKATHAS, award-winning theatre actors, re-enact a scene from the play Cuckoo Birds.
3. BRIAN GOMEZ, writer (Devil’s Place, What Do Gay People Eat?), reads from his new short story, written for specially for the occasion.
4. HISHAMMUDIN RAIS, non-governmental individual, writer and former ISA detainee, does his infamous stand-up routine.
5. I-SOUL, Chinese-language band, offer us acoustic songs on the theme.
6. LIYANA FIZI, popular singer-songwriter, sings apologetic original songs.
7. PANG KHEE TEIK, Annexe Gallery arts programme director, just wants to say sorry to everyone.
Click here for more info.


SAY SORRY DAY: Sun 5 Sep 2010

This event is held in conjunction with the Say Sorry Day campaign. A collective of individuals and organisations are coming together to declare Sept 5, 2010, as Say Sorry Day. Everyone – in Malaysia and beyond – is encouraged on this day to seek forgiveness from and grant it to each other. The inspiration for Say Sorry Day is a young Malaysian, Yong Vui Kong, who was only 18 when he was arrested for drug trafficking in Singapore. He is currently appealing for clemency, but he may still be hanged and not get a chance to redeem his wrongs. His situation is extreme, and many people may not find themselves in the same situation. However, we all need forgiveness because we all do wrong; as the saying goes, “to err is human, to forgive, divine”.

Say Sorry Day on Facebook.
Say Sorry Day article in The Star.

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About Sivin Kit

man of one wife, father of four kids
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