Grace In Defeat

12 March 2008 (
It was surprising to see a mess in the state secretary office of Selangor that was covered by shredded or torn documents and photos.
It made the people wonder why they destroyed the documents at this moment in which the old state government has just left and the new state government is yet to be formed.
Is it necessary to destroy them if they are just ordinary documents? Can these documents be destroyed if they are rightful and legitimate administrative confidential documents?
It would cause all kinds of speculation if the former state government fail to reasonably explain itself for the destruction of the documents.
The former Selangor Menteri Besar cried when the election results on Saturday (8 Mar) was revealed. But he did not admit defeat and congratulate the winner like other leaders. He also did not come forward to pass the regime to the new state government.
A person in a high position will completely expose his true character in front of others and when he steps down, it shows his manner and upbringing. Especially for those who are arrogant and harsh when they are in power, it will be hard for them to face the reality of defeat as they are fear of being hit back by others.
On the contrary, for those who are humble, they will just take it free and easy like former Penang Chief Minister Tan Sri Koh Tsu Koon, who admitted defeat and congratulated the winner, as well as promised to pass the regime to the new state government right after knowing he has lost. It showed his gentleman manner.
The most precious value of the Chinese would be to show one’s dignity, virtue and integrity in any situation. Dignity means to respect for oneself and for others. Virtue refers to humanity and justice. These are the basic values for human beings.
People judge the performance of a politician by his dignity, virtue and integrity.
Koh must be sad and disappointed as he lost the state of Penang but he generously conceded and congratulate the winner, this should showed his dignity and won him tribute from the public.
Koh not only did not destroy any official document but also invited Lim Guan Eng to pay a visit to his office before the new state government was officially formed. He was generous and sincere.
There are winners and losers in all kinds of competitions and there are victories and defeats in political elections. Most importantly, a person should show his dignity, virtue and integrity.
The worst would be those who play dirty tricks after losing the competition. It is indeed justified that “it takes opportunity to step in and it takes wisdom to step down”.
(By TAN POH KHENG/ Translated by SOONG PHUI JEE/ Sin Chew Daily)
( The opinions expressed by the writer do not necessarily reflect those of MySinchew )