Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Full text of: Tiger Woods’ apology


Transcript: Tiger's public statement

Feb. 19, 2010: Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.

TIGER WOODS: Good morning, and thank you for joining me. Many of you in this room are my friends. Many of you in this room know me. Many of you have cheered for me or you've worked with me or you've supported me.

Now every one of you has good reason to be critical of me. I want to say to each of you, simply and directly, I am deeply sorry for my irresponsible and selfish behavior I engaged in.

I know people want to find out how I could be so selfish and so foolish. People want to know how I could have done these things to my wife, Elin, and to my children. And while I have always tried to be a private person, there are some things I want to say.

Elin and I have started the process of discussing the damage caused by my behavior. As Elin pointed out to me, my real apology to her will not come in the form of words; it will come from my behavior over time. We have a lot to discuss; however, what we say to each other will remain between the two of us.

I am also aware of the pain my behavior has caused to those of you in this room. I have let you down, and I have let down my fans. For many of you, especially my friends, my behavior has been a personal disappointment. To those of you who work for me, I have let you down personally and professionally. My behavior has caused considerable worry to my business partners.

To everyone involved in my foundation, including my staff, board of directors, sponsors and most importantly, the young students we reach, our work is more important than ever. Thirteen years ago, my dad and I envisioned helping young people achieve their dreams through education. This work remains unchanged and will continue to grow. From the Learning Center students in Southern California to the Earl Woods scholars in Washington, D.C., millions of kids have changed their lives, and I am dedicated to making sure that continues.

But still, I know I have bitterly disappointed all of you. I have made you question who I am and how I could have done the things I did. I am embarrassed that I have put you in this position.

For all that I have done, I am so sorry.

I have a lot to atone for, but there is one issue I really want to discuss. Some people have speculated that Elin somehow hurt or attacked me on Thanksgiving night. It angers me that people would fabricate a story like that. Elin never hit me that night or any other night. There has never been an episode of domestic violence in our marriage, ever. Elin has shown enormous grace and poise throughout this ordeal. Elin deserves praise, not blame.

The issue involved here was my repeated irresponsible behavior. I was unfaithful. I had affairs. I cheated. What I did is not acceptable, and I am the only person to blame.

I stopped living by the core values that I was taught to believe in. I knew my actions were wrong, but I convinced myself that normal rules didn't apply. I never thought about who I was hurting. Instead, I thought only about myself. I ran straight through the boundaries that a married couple should live by. I thought I could get away with whatever I wanted to. I felt that I had worked hard my entire life and deserved to enjoy all the temptations around me. I felt I was entitled. Thanks to money and fame, I didn't have to go far to find them.

I was wrong. I was foolish. I don't get to play by different rules. The same boundaries that apply to everyone apply to me. I brought this shame on myself. I hurt my wife, my kids, my mother, my wife's family, my friends, my foundation and kids all around the world who admired me.

I've had a lot of time to think about what I've done. My failures have made me look at myself in a way I never wanted to before. It's now up to me to make amends and that starts by never repeating the mistakes I've made. It's up to me to start living a life of integrity.

I once heard, and I believe it's true, it's not what you achieve in life that matters; it's what you overcome. Achievements on the golf course are only part of setting an example. Character and decency are what really count.

Parents used to point to me as a role model for their kids. I owe all those families a special apology. I want to say to them that I am truly sorry.

It's hard to admit that I need help, but I do. For 45 days from the end of December to early February, I was in inpatient therapy receiving guidance for the issues I'm facing. I have a long way to go. But I've taken my first steps in the right direction.

As I proceed, I understand people have questions. I understand the press wants to ask me for the details and the times I was unfaithful. I understand people want to know whether Elin and I will remain together. Please know that as far as I'm concerned, every one of these questions and answers is a matter between Elin and me. These are issues between a husband and a wife.

Some people have made up things that never happened. They said I used performance-enhancing drugs. This is completely and utterly false. Some have written things about my family. Despite the damage I have done, I still believe it is right to shield my family from the public spotlight. They did not do these things; I did.

I have always tried to maintain a private space for my wife and children. They have been kept separate from my sponsors, my commercial endorsements. When my children were born, we only released photographs so that the paparazzi could not chase them. However, my behavior doesn't make it right for the media to follow my two-and-a-half-year-old daughter to school and report the school's location. They staked out my wife and they pursued my mom. Whatever my wrongdoings, for the sake of my family, please leave my wife and kids alone.

I recognize I have brought this on myself, and I know above all I am the one who needs to change. I owe it to my family to become a better person. I owe it to those closest to me to become a better man. That's where my focus will be.

I have a lot of work to do, and I intend to dedicate myself to doing it. Part of following this path for me is Buddhism, which my mother taught me at a young age. People probably don't realize it, but I was raised a Buddhist, and I actively practiced my faith from childhood until I drifted away from it in recent years. Buddhism teaches that a craving for things outside ourselves causes an unhappy and pointless search for security. It teaches me to stop following every impulse and to learn restraint. Obviously, I lost track of what I was taught.

As I move forward, I will continue to receive help because I've learned that's how people really do change. Starting tomorrow, I will leave for more treatment and more therapy. I would like to thank my friends at Accenture and the players in the field this week for understanding why I'm making these remarks today.

In therapy, I've learned the importance of looking at my spiritual life and keeping in balance with my professional life. I need to regain my balance and be centered so I can save the things that are most important to me -- my marriage and my children.

That also means relying on others for help. I've learned to seek support from my peers in therapy, and I hope someday to return that support to others who are seeking help. I do plan to return to golf one day, I just don't know when that day will be.

I don't rule out that it will be this year. When I do return, I need to make my behavior more respectful of the game. In recent weeks, I have received many thousands of e-mails, letters and phone calls from people expressing good wishes. To everyone who has reached out to me and my family, thank you. Your encouragement means the world to Elin and me.

I want to thank the PGA Tour, Commissioner Finchem and the players for their patience and understanding while I work on my private life. I look forward to seeing my fellow players on the course.

Finally, there are many people in this room, and there are many people at home who believed in me. Today, I want to ask for your help. I ask you to find room in your heart to one day believe in me again.

Thank you.

"I have let my family down and I regret those transgressions with all of my heart," Woods said on his Web site. "I have not been true to my values and the behavior my family deserves. I am not without faults and I am far short of perfect. I am dealing with my behavior and personal failings behind closed doors with my family. Those feelings should be shared by us alone.

WoodsI have let my family down and I regret those transgressions with all of my heart. I have not been true to my values and the behavior my family deserves. I am not without faults and I am far short of perfect. I am dealing with my behavior and personal failings behind closed doors with my family. Those feelings should be shared by us alone.

-- Statement by Tiger Woods

"Although I am a well-known person and have made my career as a professional athlete, I have been dismayed to realize the full extent of what tabloid scrutiny really means. For the last week, my family and I have been hounded to expose intimate details of our personal lives. The stories in particular that physical violence played any role in the car accident were utterly false and malicious. Elin has always done more to support our family and shown more grace than anyone could possibly expect.

"But no matter how intense curiosity about public figures can be, there is an important and deep principle at stake which is the right to some simple, human measure of privacy. I realize there are some who don't share my view on that. But for me, the virtue of privacy is one that must be protected in matters that are intimate and within one's own family. Personal sins should not require press releases and problems within a family shouldn't have to mean public confessions.

"Whatever regrets I have about letting my family down have been shared with and felt by us alone. I have given this a lot of reflection and thought and I believe that there is a point at which I must stick to that principle even though it's difficult.

"I will strive to be a better person and the husband and father that my family deserves. For all of those who have supported me over the years, I offer my profound apology."

Tiger Woods’ apology brings new attention to Buddhism

Tiger Woods’ apology brings new attention to Buddhism

(CNN) — when Tiger Woods invoked his religious faith during his public apology on Friday, he readily acknowledged that a lot of people would be surprised.

“People probably don’t realize it,” he said, “but I was raised a Buddhist, and I actively practiced my faith from childhood until I drifted away from it in recent years.

But Woods said his Buddhist faith would be a key part of his quest to put his life back together after revelations of his marital infidelity, which he admitted for the first time. Buddhist experts said Woods’ summation of the tradition’s beliefs was accurate — and that his remarks likely will bring more attention to the faith in a week when its highest profile leader, the Dalai Lama, is visiting the United States.

“I have a lot of work to do, and I intend to dedicate myself to doing it,” Woods said, reading a statement from Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. “Part of following this path for me is Buddhism, which my mother taught me at a young age.”

“Buddhism teaches that a craving of things outside ourselves causes an unhappy and pointless search for security,” he continued. “It teaches me to stop following every impulse and to learn restraint. obviously, I lost track of what I was taught.”

A handful of Buddhist scholars said Woods’ description of Buddhist teaching was spot on. “Woods was quite accurate,” said Janet Gyatso, a professor of Buddhist studies at Harvard University. “Craving causes unhappiness. That’s a fundamental Buddhist idea.”

A 1996 Sports Illustrated profile suggested that Woods — then in his early 20s — took his faith seriously. He visited a Buddhist temple with his mother each year around his birthday, slept near a mother-of-pearl Buddha from his Thai grandfather, and wore a gold Buddha around his neck, according to the profile. Woods’ mother, Kultilda, is a Thai-born Buddhist.

“I like Buddhism because it’s a whole way of being and living,” Tiger Woods told Sports Illustrated. “It’s based on discipline and respect and personal responsibility. I like Asian culture better than ours because of that.”

When allegations of Woods’ infidelity began emerging after a November 27 car accident, Fox News Channel host Brit Hume stirred controversy by publicly advising the golf pro to become a Christian.

“He’s said to be a Buddhist — I don’t think that faith offers the kind of forgiveness and redemption that is offered by the Christian faith,” Hume said. “So my message to Tiger would be: Tiger, turn to the Christian faith and you can make a total recovery and be a great example to the world.”

But Buddhist scholars say that forgiveness and redemption are core components of the faith. “You’re always beginning again in the Buddhist tradition,” said John Kornfield, a prominent Buddhist teacher based in California. “You see that you’re causing harm, you repent and ask forgiveness in some formal or informal way, and you start again.”

Some Buddhism experts said that’s what Woods appeared to be trying to do today. many Buddhists applauded Woods’ statement. “The fact that people could see this kind of behavior causes suffering is an incredibly important message for all kinds of people who respect Woods,” said Kornfield.

Buddhism was in the spotlight this week before Woods’ remarks, with the Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama — a Buddhist — meeting with President Obama in Washington on Thursday.

Buddhism is among the world’s largest religions, with about 350 million adherents, including about 1.2 million in the United States, according to a 2009 report by Trinity College. The faith began in India about 2,500 years ago.

It took nine years for them to finally wake up

It took nine years for them to finally wake up

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Today, there is so much brouhaha about the Oil Royalty (illegally renamed ‘Wang Ehsan’) issue. Even Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah has awoken and it looks like a hornets’ nest has just been stirred. On 18 February 2001, I wrote the article below called Fight Fire With Fire. On 11 April 2001, I was detained under the Internal Security Act on grounds that I am threat to national security. I was earlier also arrested under the Sedition Act on Hari Raya Haji and the police raided my house and confiscated my computer. And this article was one of those ‘grounds’ they used against me to justify my arrest and subsequent detention.


Raja Petra Kamarudin

Fight Fire With Fire (Raja Petra Kamarudin, 18 February 2001)

Two weeks ago I met Ustaz Haji Abdul Hadi Awang, the Chief Minister of Terengganu, to interview him on behalf of Berita keADILan. The question I asked was how would the state fare without their RM800 million a year oil royalty and what does the state intend to do about the matter?

Three courses of action

Ustaz Hadi laid out three courses of action the state is taking. First is administrative, the second political, and the third legal.

On administrative, the state has already sent a high-powered delegation to meet the higher-ups in Petronas. On political, the State would go round explaining the issue to NGOs and political parties. Finally, on legal, the state has set up a technical committee to explore the possibility of taking Petronas to court.

With all due respect to Ustaz Hadi who I have personally known for more than 20 years (30 years now) and whom I have extremely high regards for, I feel all three avenues are a dead end and will come to naught in the end.

First of all, on the administrative route. So they have met Petronas and Petronas has not denied that a legal contract does exist between the national oil company and Terengganu. But what good does it do? Terengganu will still not get its money. It is not Petronas that refuses to pay Terengganu its money but Mahathir.

Mahathir is the real culprit - not Petronas

Under the Petroleum Development Act (144) 1974 passed by Parliament in 1974, the Prime Minister has absolute and final authority over Petronas. That’s it, Mahathir decides and dictates what Petronas does and there’s no two ways about it. And unless Terengganu talks to Mahathir personally Petronas can do absolutely nothing to help Terengganu.

More details on this Act have been included in this feature as a footnote below.

Should Terengganu then talk to Mahathir?

No way! Mahathir hates PAS from the bottom of his heart and he would rather die than give in to PAS.

Terengganu’s weak political action

So, over to option number two -- political. The State is going round explaining to the people the real issue behind Terengganu’s oil royalty being withdrawn. But the people already know the facts. Why try to convert the already converted? The people do not want talk. They want action.

Can Terengganu really get a fair trial?

Finally, legal action. Does Terengganu really believe it can get a fair trial in a Malaysian court? If it does then pigs can fly. Trials and court cases in Malaysia are rigged and you can bet your last oil Dollar that the Terengganu versus Petronas court case will be heavily rigged.

Anyway, the trial will go on for ten years or more. By then Terengganu will be so broke PAS will beg UMNO to take the State off its hands (it did in 2004). UMNO can afford to wait ten years (it only had to wait three years). Can PAS? With no money in the pocket, time creeps by ever so slowly and ten years can feel like a life sentence.

No, all the above will not work. Let us not be idealistic but be realistic. Let us analyse what is really going on.

First of all, it is Mahathir and not Petronas that’s the culprit. Secondly, it is a political decision taken for political considerations and the action too is political. Lastly, stop talking and start acting.

Taking all this into consideration, immediate action is required and the action must be political and not legal or administrative.

And the type of political action to take?

Terengganu is too paranoid about being seen as “aggressive”

Before I continue I must add that Terengganu State is too paranoid about its image and is reluctant to be seen as doing anything “illegal” or “ganas”. That attitude should change. Mahathir did not care about his image or whether he is seen as ganas when he withdrew Terengganu’s oil royalty. In fact, Mahathir said no such agreement exists. If this is not ganas I don’t know what is.

Fight fire with fire

Terengganu must fight fire with fire. Terengganu must realise it is fighting for survival and its (political) life is at stake. Terengganu must “take to the streets”.

First, all East Coast rakyat should be told to boycott Petronas petrol stations. So the petrol station owners go bankrupt, but that’s the price of “war”. How can the petrol station owners continue to support Petronas when it is killing off Terengganu State anyway? Maybe they deserve to go bankrupt.

Blockades should be set up at the Petronas refinery in Kertih so that the tankers cannot get in or out. “Guards” should be placed at all Petronas petrol stations to “discourage” people from patronising the place.

This sounds confrontational and it is. Terengganu must confront Petronas. In fact, it should declare war on Petronas and whoever else cooperates with Petronas. Whether they are car owners or petrol station owners they should be treated like the enemy if they cooperate with Petronas.

Terengganu stands to lose about RM4 billion by the next general election. This is no paltry sum and the state should fight tooth and nail to get the money back. The state should also not be afraid to spend a bit of money in employing guards to enforce the statewide boycott on Petronas stations and the blockade on the oil refinery.

Petronas must be made to lose money for the money Terengganu State is losing - an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.

Promote it at a National issue and not just a State issue

Terengganu State must see its fight with Petronas as a National battle. The state must remember that Petronas has earned a total of about RM300 billion from Terengganu since it started its operation around 25 years ago (double that now). However, it can account for only about 20% of that money.

Since under the Petroleum Development Act 1974 it says Petronas is only answerable to the Prime Minister and takes direction from the Prime Minister only, this means only the Prime Minister, and no one else, knows what happened to all that money.

The opposition Parliamentarians have been trying for years to get Petronas to reveal its accounts but it refuses to do so, saying that they need only show the accounts to the Prime Minister and to no one else. Not even Parliament has the power to direct Petronas – and to think Petronas was set up through Act of Parliament.

Petronas needs to be “stripped naked” so that Malaysians can see where all their money has gone. We are talking about hundreds of billions here. Malaysians need to know where Mahathir has stashed all this money.

Rally “People’s Power”

The State should not confine its fight to a handful of people. Get the rakyat involved. The rakyat are waiting for directions from the top.

On 25 November 2000, Dr Hatta Ramli, the political secretary to Dato Ustaz Fadzil Noor, the President of PAS, handed a Memorandum to Tun Daim protesting the withdrawal of the oil royalty. A crowd of at least 5,000 people escorted him there. Dr Hatta then announced that if the Federal government ignores this Memorandum, he would get one million people to take to the streets.

Well, the government has ignored the Memorandum. Where are the one million people? Dr Hatta should carry through his promise – or was it just a threat? He should mobilise these one million people - and I know he can if he puts his mind to it. In fact, if you can get one million people onto the streets, not only would Petronas buckle but Mahathir himself will also fall. This will be Malaysia’s equivalent of People’s Power.

Form a human barricade

There are about 3 million people in the East Coast. You don’t need all these three million but a mere percentage of them. Call the people out. Get them onto the streets. And ask them to form a human barricade and block all Petronas installations in the East Coast.

People will not be able to get in or out. All economic activities will grind to a halt. Even Mahathir’s police will be powerless. Petronas will have to either reinstate Terengganu’s oil royalty or close down.

If Terengganu cannot get the money that is rightfully theirs then let no one else get it either.


The Petroleum Development Act (Act 144) 1974

This Act covers the exploration and exploitation of petroleum, whether onshore or offshore, by a corporation in which will be vested the entire ownership in, and the exclusive rights, powers, liberties, and privileges in respect of the said petroleum, and to control the carrying on of downstream activities and development relating to petroleum and its products.

Important clauses in this Act are:

1. A Corporation would be set up for this purpose under the Companies Act to be called Petroleum Nasional Berhad or PETRONAS for short.

2. The Corporation shall be subject to the control and direction of the Prime Minister who may, from time to time, issue such direction as he may deem fit.

3. The direction so issued by the Prime Minister shall be binding on the Corporation.

4. In return for the ownership and rights, powers, liberties and privileges vested in it by virtue of this Act, the Corporation shall make to the government of the Federation and the government of any relevant State such cash payments as may be agreed between the parties concerned.

The FP Top 100 Global Thinkers (Anwar is No:32)

The FP Top 100 Global Thinkers

From the brains behind Iran's Green Revolution to the economic Cassandra who actually did have a crystal ball, they had the big ideas that shaped our world in 2009. Read on to see the 100 minds that mattered most in the year that was.


32. Anwar Ibrahim

for challenging the Muslim world to embrace democracy.


Two decades ago, it would have been impossible to imagine Anwar pulling together rural Malays, ethnic Indians and Chinese, and Islamists into a coherent political bloc. Back then, Anwar was deputy prime minister in a de facto single-party state that espoused preferential treatment for ethnic Malays. It was a policy that Anwar had pushed from his days as a youth leader right up until 1997, when he denounced his patron, then-Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, for corruption. He would spend the next six years in solitary confinement on trumped-up charges for that political betrayal. And he would leave jail in 2004 with a bold message for change in a country now at the forefront of the struggle for democracy in the Muslim world. Today, Anwar's political career is blossoming, despite a new, politically motivated indictment. Abroad, he has become an outspoken advocate of religious tolerance.

He sat down with Foreign Policy to talk about his big ideas:

On Muslim countries and the West: You can't just erase a period of imperialism and colonialism. You can't erase the fault lines, the bad policies, the failed policies, the war in Iraq, and support for dictators. That to me is the reality. But what is the problem? When you … apportion the blame only to the West or the United States. They want to deflect from the issue of repression, endemic corruption, and destruction of the institutions of governance.

On his time in prison: I spent a lot of time reading. I decided to focus on the great works and the classics. Friends from around the world were sending books, but it takes months for [the prison] to vet them. There came a book on the Green Revolution at that time. The officer said, "Anything revolution -- out!" even though it was about agriculture. But the books kept coming. The officers were not even graduates, and [the books] were in English. They would say, "Anwar, out of 10 books, can you send back one?" So I would select something I had already read or something I was not interested in and say, "We should reject this."

On politics: Of course, you simplify the arguments [for politics], but the central thesis remains constant. People say, "Anwar, you are opportunistic. How can you talk about Islam and the Quran here, and then you talk about Shakespeare and quote Jefferson or Edmund Burke?" I say, it depends on the audience. You can't talk about Edmund Burke in some remote village in Afghanistan. Then you go to Kuala Lumpur and you quote T.S. Eliot. If I quote the Quran all the time to a group of lawyers, [they will think] I am a mullah from somewhere!