Everyone deserves a second chance

The resignation of MP David Ong following a "personal indiscretion" highlights the inability of our society to embrace failure or mistakes ("MP David Ong resigns; by-election to be called"; Sunday).

Our Asian mindset sees failures or mistakes - be it official or personal - as humiliation, a black mark or stigma.

This is despite the saying, "to err is human; to forgive, divine".

For a small country like Singapore, where human resources are scarce, it is ironic that we do not give those who falter a second chance.

Yes, Mr Ong made a mistake and admitted to it. But it does not negate the fact that he was a good and hard-working MP in the eyes of his constituents ("Bukit Batok residents shocked by resignation"; Sunday). Every person deserves a second chance if he genuinely repents. We must embrace the mindset that failures and mistakes are part and parcel of progress.

If everyone persists in taking the moral high ground whenever someone commits a mistake, then our society has taken a huge step backwards.

Seah Yam Meng

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 16, 2016, with the headline 'Everyone deserves a second chance'. Print Edition | Subscribe