Law in society is meant to uphold and vindicate justice, but when it becomes the engine of oppression and an instrument of injustice, then it forfeits public confidence, respect and support.
Lim Guan Engís one-year imprisonment in Kajang Prison has become a classic example of the great divide between law and justice in Malaysia. Under Barisan Nasionalís legal and judicial system, Guan Eng is a common criminal guilty of two offences for which he was convicted and sentenced to two concurrent 18-month jail terms.
But when Guan Eng walked out of Kajang Prison this morning, he was given a heroís welcome by several thousands of Malaysians from all races, religions and political beliefs, who had come from different parts of the country to pay tribute to his courage to stand up to defend the honour, dignity, human rights and womenís rights of a 15-year-old underaged girl victim of statutory rape - regardless of the personal price he had to pay and is still paying.
The emotional and tumultous reception for Guan Eng by Malaysians of all races and religions outside Kajang Prison this morning and when he returned to Malacca mark an important coming-of-age of the Malaysian nation-building process - where Malaysians can rise above their ethnic, religious and political differences to find common bond and identity on the grounds of justice, fair play and human rights.
Tonight, at this ceramah for instance, we find a free co-mingling of Malaysians of all races, religions and political beliefs to demonstrate our repudiation of injustice and our commitment to restore justice in the Malaysian system of governance.
Guan Engís sacrifice in the cause of justice has become a spark to make ordinary Malaysians of diverse races realise what they have many things which they cherish and must defend in common - and ending the gap between Law and Justice, and to ensure Justice For All, are among these common values and goals which all Malaysians should personally adopt as their personal agendas.