The increasing divide between law and justice is the root cause why there is an unprecedented crisis of confidence not only in the judiciary but also in other key institutions of government


Speech
- at the first "Welcome  Lim Guan Eng with honour" ceramah held at Kampung Padang, Pokok Mangga, Malacca
by
Lim Kit Siang 
 

(Malaccca, Wednesday): The increasing divide between law and justice in Malaysia is the root cause why there is an unprecedented crisis of confidence not only in the judiciary but also in other key institutions of government.

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.

(25/8/99)


*Lim Kit Siang - Malaysian Parliamentary Opposition Leader, Democratic Action Party Secretary-General & Member of Parliament for Tanjong