(Petaling Jaya, Friday): The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad said in Sabah yesterday that the people should not consider Malaysia’s justice system to be lesser than that of Western countries.
He said the people should always remember that the country’s laws and legal system were always fair to everyone and not based on favouritism.
In actual fact, Malaysians have nothing to be proud about the justice system in the country, which has not only unjust laws, they are also applied unevenly and unjustly.
The case of DAP Deputy Secretary-General and MP for Kota Melaka, Lim Guan Eng, who is now languishing in Kajang Prison not for any crime of arson, armed robbery, rape, murder or criminal breach of trust but for courageously defending the honour, women rights and human rights of an underaged 15-year-old girl victim of statutory rape as well as being the first political leader in the 42-year history of Malaysia to be prepared to sacrifice himself politically in the defence of a Malaysian of another race is a classic example.
The unfair handling of the case of former Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim is another example.
Malaysia’s greatest tragedy is that on the eve of the new millennium, the system of law and the judiciary in Malaysia have become agents of injustice rather than the dispensers of justice.
This is one important reason why there is an urgent need for wide-ranging reforms in the system of governance in Malaysia.
The injustice of Malaysia’s system of governance is everywhere for the people to see - as for instance, the Prime Minister could go to Sabah not only to speak at public meetings and rallies, but to be telecast live, but the wife of Anwar Ibrahim, Datin Seri Dr. Azizah Ismail, was not allowed to address a gathering or even to hold a press conference when she visited Sabah a day earlier.
Is this the system of justice that Mahathir is talking about - having one law for the Barisan Nasional and another law for the Opposition, one law for the rich and another law for the poor?