Skip to main content

Earning your second chance

People rarely get second chances. When we make a serious mistake we seldom get an opportunity for a do-over. Those we have hurt will remember our transgressions for a long time. Maybe forever.

Published accounts remind us of the agony of former prisoners and rehabilitated drug addicts who are denied jobs, housing and other services on account of past convictions. They want desperately to clear their records of past crimes however minor these might seem. They want to take a path towards a new start that will help them improve their circumstances.

Quite simply, they need a second chance. They want to have a shot at a normal life.

But there are conditions attached to the privilege of being bestowed a second chance. Offenders must take full responsibility for their actions and honestly regret what they have done.

Islam's concept of taubat  (repentance) states that wrongdoers must demonstrate sincere remorse, sorrow and guilt, promise not to repeat their mistakes and do good deeds as Allah has instructed.

Against that backdrop, should Malaysian society give the bogus dentist in Malacca -- who practised dentistry after watching YouTube tutorials -- a second chance?

The Sessions Court in Melaka had slapped a fine of RM70,000 on Nur Farahanis Ezatty Adli on Sept 29, 2017 for running an unregistered  private dental clinic, an offence under the Private Healthcare Facilities and Services Act 1998 which carries a maximum fine of RM300,000 or maximum jail of six years or both upon conviction.

However, she was released from prison after serving only six days out of her six-month jail term for failing to pay the fine, thanks to supporters who had raised enough money to settle the penalty.

What are we to make of the fundraising campaign mounted by supporters including well known NGOs to keep Nur Farahanis out of jail?

Obviously, they believe she does not need to serve her prison sentence. Muslim Consumers Association of Malaysia's lead activist Datuk Nadzim Johan had said that Nur Farahanis, 20, was an intelligent woman who was merely helping to fix simple braces on her friends based on what she had learned from Youtube.

He was quoted as saying that "we need to help her and we also believe that there are some good reasons for us to help her".

"I do not want to say that the charge was unfair. We feel that we should try to help someone who is trying to free herself from poverty and challenges of life," he said.

The Muslim consumer body felt that she should be given another chance since she was still young and had no prior convictions.

It later clarified its position on the issue.

It is hard to imagine giving cheats and others of a similar ilk a new lease on life but psychologists say forgiveness is fundamental to human relationships. Yet we find it hard to make allowances for offenders and give them breaks to make up for past wrongs.

In the case of the bogus dentist the task is made harder by her unrepentant behaviour, if media reports are anything to go by. There is a suggestion that her actions were "not normal".

This is a serious matter that we should reflect on carefully. Quacks attract vulnerable and ill-informed patients by offering cut-rate prices for inferior dental care.

The authorities must do more to prevent people from falling for the lies and deceit of quack dentistry, medicine and pseudoscience.







Comments

Popular Posts

Happy Father's Day

June is a significant month for fathers and those who have acted as father figures: stepfathers, uncles, grandfathers, big brothers, teachers and mentors. It is the month when some countries including Malaysia celebrate Father's Day. As American poet Anne Sexton put it: "It doesn't matter who my father was; it matters who I remember he was." My own father, who was a major influence in my life when I was growing up in Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia, passed away a long time ago. Since then there has been one major father figure in my life: my mentor, who is also my uncle, and he has helped me through difficult times. Fathers teach by example. You learn important values from them and you acquire some of their tastes for things. It could be anything: a love for English literature, words and books, among others. Sometimes you did not agree with their viewpoints but realised later that they were right about many things. As a child, growing up in a hometown known for its laid-back wa

Rediscovering the traditional Malaysian Indian kitchen

I love this artwork (acrylic on canvas) by Jayashree Ramasamy @Jay, who has captured the mood of the traditional Malaysian Indian kitchen. Jay recalls her grandmother preparing meals for the family in a room which was equipped with ancestral cooking utensils and that was the inspiration for this painting. For more of Jay's creations head for the National Art Gallery where 'The Story Telling' exhibition is now being held (April 14 to May 15, 2011).  'The Story Telling' is a group exhibition showcasing the creations of four emerging artists including Jay from the Symbols Art Club . The other three artists are Kathiravan Subramaniam, Rohini Indran and Mohana Kumara Velu @ Mona Kv. Each work of art is a story that the artist tells about his or her personal experiences and observations of daily life. The launch this afternoon was in conjunction with the Tamil New Year today. 'Food is Served' by Kathiravan Subramaniam. The rationale: 'We may have diff

Dealing with death of a loved one

Today marks the end of Rabiaa's mourning period. She had completed four months and 10 days or 130 days of grieving, the stipulated period for expressing sorrow for Muslim widows.  The death of her husband on Dec 30, 2020 was expected  but it still came as a huge shock to her. It was too sudden, she felt. Yet  observers would not agree. Her husband became bedridden in mid-November after a collision between his big bike and a car which had come from the opposite direction after taking an illegal turn.  In addition to being bedridden, Anwar, lost his voice which was the direct result of the  brain injury he had suffered after the accident. He was diagnosed with traumatic brain injury. How does Rabiaa feel now? The pain is bearable but the memories remain as vivid as ever. She is still unwilling to clear up all of her husband's things and some items remain in their original positions as before he became bound to the bed. His belongings connect Rabiaa to Anwar and she basks in the w