The recent behaviour of the Malaysian legal authorities is reminiscent of the time when Nikita Khrushchev banged his shoe on the desk at the United Nations after a speech by US President Dwight Eisenhower. It prompted British premier Harold Macmillan to remark mildly: “Perhaps we could have a translation, I could not quite follow.”
Macmillan was feigning ignorance through irony. But you didn’t have to be a genius to know that many Malaysians are annoyed that a former premier found guilty of 1) dodging taxes of over RM1 billion, and,
2) monumental larceny that’s off the charts is, nevertheless, allowed to travel to Singapore to be with his daughter for her second child.
Lesser mortals including 1) people owing, say, RM100 to the Inland Revenue Board or, 2) graduates still owing student loans have as much chance of travelling abroad as ordinary Russians did during Khrushchev’s tenure.
It was the Court of Appeal that returned Fearless Leader’s passport, previously impounded not just by the courts but the anti-corruption agency and the IRB. Even so, the court may have been persuaded because the prosecution didn’t object. Instead, the Attorney-General’s men preferred the safely cautious route and “left it to the court.”
Fearless upped the ante Thursday, asking the court to allow a delay to his travel plans because he’d been “entrusted” by Wannabe Leader to manage Malacca’s state elections next month. Umno’s current President Wannabe is also being tried for corruption.
Like Fearless, he’d been allowed to go abroad, only this time it’s to Germany for necessary medical treatment. And since both men – birds of a feather, we are reliably told – knew that only the credible Fearless could manage Malacca, it had to be just so.
It does speak volumes about Malaysian politics when the guy adjudged to be the most capable of winning an election for a political party is also the guy standing trial for the Heist of the Century.
Isn’t that Trump Territory?
It’s going to take over a month to manage the elections. Fearless was going to Singapore to be on hand, ostensibly, for the birth of his daughter’s second child.
Like she’s going to postpone child-birth now?
It took your breath away. Here were Fearless and Wannabe, both VIPs facing crimes of spectacular magnitude and nobody cared! The fact was that their trials kept being repeatedly postponed: for Parliament, for the Sabah elections, overseas travel, medical treatment abroad and, now, the Malacca elections.
What happened to justice? I thought it not only had to be done but needed to be seen to be done.
We seem to be living in an upside-down, Alice-in-Wonderland world. We appear to be peering through a looking glass, into a John Lennon song where “your insides are out and your outsides are in,” where nobody gives a damn.
Because no one seems to think it strange, abnormal or outrageous. Not the lawyers nor the judges, not the authorities and, especially, not the politicians.
It would be a mistake to think so, however. Going by their press, other countries are beginning to lump us among The Basket Cases. And, going by the chatter out there, a great many Malaysians are asking hard questions.