I often self-reflect and self-analyse on the things that I support or believe. So I could understand if people question why I care so much for two criminals rather than support the action taken in Indonesia.
On a day when we lost Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, I spent the day feeling troubled and sad of the lives lost. It’s especially devastating as well when I read all the gloating, harsh and thoughtless comments that are thrown about in social media. I know that each side has their valid reasons either to support or to condemn the executions that took place early morning on 29 April 2015. You know where I stand on the issue as well so I won’t dwell on it anymore.
I just thought that I should do something with what I believe in rather than being silent and complicit to what is being done so that’s why I tweeted and posted my thoughts openly which others may take offence to. I do respect their opinion as well and I do appreciate their reasoning for supporting the execution.
What I can’t stand is the gloating and the use of their death in memes, jokes, or cynical off-handed statements. You would discuss your dead pets with an affection, why can’t you extend the same gesture for fellow human beings? Their life went beyond just having been “drug dealers”. Whatever reason that they took within the ten years they were in jail – whether true contrition or self preservation – they turned around and contributed to those around them. They paid their ultimate price and we should not be trigger-happy to continue calling them as mere “drug dealers”. It’s the same gesture that we should extend to drug victims. They are fellow human beings. Once, somebody, somewhere, called them “brother”, “sister”, “mum”, “dad”, “mate”, or even “darling”. It’s this belittling of life that I can’t stand as the follow-up of the execution.
Imagine if we are stuck with whatever that we did five or ten years ago and we are permanently labelled as “cheater”, “liar”, “thief”, “thrash”, “scums”, “useless so-and-so” – even after we turned around and moved on – and even after our final departure. Our life goes beyond what we did five or ten years ago.
I realise that I should also extend this kind of gracious gesture towards those whose actions I disagree with – let’s take this to the extreme – including the so-called terrorists and criminals. Yes, their life also goes beyond the sadistic and meaningless actions that they do to their fellow brothers and sisters. They are also someone’s brothers or sisters, or sons or daughters and as such I should also respect their life. It is difficult, I don’t deny that – but it’s only when we can appreciate life, even those who we despise and disagree with, we can truly know the meaning of loving our enemies as much as we love our neighbours.