Plagiarism charge: Open plea to NST group editor

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Dear Mr Brendan Pereira,

I beg you to consider the situation you find yourself in with the utmost care, consideration and conscience. Upon examining very closely the evidence that suggests that you have committed plagiarism, I have absolutely no choice but to conclude that you have misrepresented - intentionally, and without any citation whatsoever - your article How dearly we miss June 6 as being your own original work entirely. This is tantamount to blatant theft, and few indeed are the transgressions in journalism that could be considered more dire.

In light of the incontrovertible evidence laid bare for all to see, to say at this point that your actions were mimicry, flattering imitation or even a subconscious reproduction of Mitch Albom's work and style would at this point simply not be credible.

In fact, I feel it must be said that any attempt on your part - both as the author of this article, and as group editor of the New Straits Times - to evade responsibility, relegate blame, or, worst of all, ignore this matter in shameful silence and hope that it will go away, will undoubtedly serve to besmirch your honour and good name beyond any possible redemption.

The rakyat may forgive succumbing to human weakness; they will not forgive blatant denial nor any attempt to dishonourably squirm away from the cold light of truth. The liability you would thereafter pose to the NST , and thus by extension to Umno and the prime minister himself, would be unbearable.

Sir, I somehow feel that you are a decent man, with a sense of dignity and duty. I feel that deep in your heart, you know the course of action that would best serve both the causes for which you have so strongly advocated as well as the career and reputation you have built over so many years.

No doubt, you have constantly called for the need of higher standards of public integrity in this country, and decried a culture of impunity that has poisoned our society. In a country that can hardly find its moral compass any more, here is an opportunity to for you show that wrongdoings need not breed more wrongdoings - that cycles where dishonesty is covered up with more dishonesty can be broken. Imagine what a light that might shine on our social and political worlds.

I take extremely strong exception to any attempt to use this incident to make personal attacks on your good self, bring unhappiness in any way to your family, or even make unconstructive criticisms about the content of your writings and work to date.

I do however feel that professionally, you have crossed a line; and that as an established journalist, a good citizen, and a decent human being, it falls upon you to admit what has been clearly demonstrated, take full and unconditional responsibility, as well as do the right thing with regards to your career and professional positions. Please make the most of your final opportunity in this matter to demonstrate the integrity and moral stature I am confident still exists within you.

I thank you for your kind consideration, sir, and wish you well in your new endeavours.

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