Blogger Raja Petra Kamaruddin has apologised to the Sikh community for the turban remarks tat did not sit well with Skhs in Malaysia and abroad as well.
“I was told a Sikh’s turban is a very sacred item and they do not take too kindly to anyone making fun of it. For that I would like to sincerely apologise,” the blogger said in an entry entitled ‘My Apology To The Sikh Community’ at his blog today (1 Oct 2018).
RPK, as the once popular blogger is popularly known, had made disparaging remarks on the Sikh turban in his salvos against Malaysia’s Federal Commercial Crime Investigation Department Director Amar Singh Ishar Singh.
In an article on 28 Sept, Raja Petra had said said that ‘Amar Singh Ishar Singh’s turban must be too tight that it is restricting the flow of blood to his brain’ and that ‘Amar Singh needs to remove his turban to clear his brain once in a while’.
In response, Amar, the highest ranking police officer hailing from the Sikh community and a third-generation policemen, had slammed the remarks as “demeaning and racist”.
Separately, the Malaysian Gurdwaras Council (MGC), a body representing more than 120 gurdwaras in Malaysia, had warned that the remarks by the blogger had the potential to create ‘hate and disrespect’ for the Sikh turban.
Here is the full text of Raja Petra’s apology:
Police reports have been made against me. I have also received numerous threats. But that is not why I am apologising for my quip that Amar Singh Ishar Singh’s turban may be too tight.
I was told a Sikh’s turban is a very sacred item and they do not take too kindly to anyone making fun of it. For that I would like to sincerely apologise.
I also sent personal apologies to Gobind Singh Deo and Amarjit Sidhu. These two, plus Manjeet Singh Dhillon and the late Karpal Singh, acted as my lawyers during my various trials and ISA detention ten years ago back in 2008. They also helped me in other ways, which I am not at liberty to mention, and which helped me to settle down in the UK after I left Malaysia in February 2009.
And they all did this without me asking (they volunteered their services), and without asking for a single sen in payment. I will be eternally grateful to Gobind, Amarjit, Manjeet and the late Karpal. So would I want to repay them by insulting their Sikh faith?
Kenang budi is supposed to be a Malay trait and virtue. To insult the faith of those who did so much for you and asked for nothing in return is not kenang budi. It is the opposite of kenang budi.
I can argue that I did not consider my quip an insult to the Sikh faith or that this was not my intention. But it is not what I intended that matters but how what I said was received. And I also apologise to Amar Singh Ishar Singh because, as much as I may disagree with him, that disagreement should not be reduced to the level of insulting his religion.
An uncalled for attack against Amar Singh and Sikh community, says federal minister (Asia Samachar, 30 Sept 2018)
Malaysian Gurdwaras Council slams RPK for creating ‘hate and disrespect’ for Sikh turban (Asia Samachar, 30 Sept 2018)
Don’t ridicule the turban, Malaysian Sikh top cop tells RPK (Asia Samachar, 29 Sept 2018)
FAS ‘regrets’ turban remark by football coach Fandi Ahmad (Asia Samachar, 13 Sept 2018)
US radio hosts suspended after calling Sikh attorney general ‘Turban Man’ – Report (Asia Samachar, 27 July 2018)
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