If it’s true that our species is alone in the universe, then I’d have to say the universe aimed rather low and settled for very little – Comedian George Carlin
Just when you think things could not get more absurd in this fantastic country of ours, it does.
Hours after a march for “judicial independence” got thwarted by the police, an Umno Supreme Councillor wondered if the same lawyers would march to demand “justice for Najib.”
Najib is the nation’s First Felon, a former premier who has been convicted by two concurrent courts of abuse of power, criminal breach of trust and money laundering in relation to 42 million ringgit of money that belonged to the government. He only awaits one more appeal and if that fails, he has to serve time.
But these first charges are chicken feed, the lull before the storm. He is also accused of the largest theft in human history and awaits two more trials, one of which involves the theft of billions from lMDB, a government agency he created ostensibly to help develop Malaysia.
In one sense, Dr Puad Zakashi, the Umno personage calling for justice for Najib is right. We also think that justice should be expedited for the former premier.
Instead, here we have the spectacle of the courts, and well-nigh everybody else, giving him the maximum leeway, stretching the adage of “presumed innocent until proven guilty” to its breaking point.
In countries like Japan, a nation which highly values honour, bail isn’t a right but a privilege.
And yet, in this country, Anwar Ibrahim, a former deputy premier, was denied bail for six years for a crime that isn’t even criminal in developed countries.
But consider the following where Najib is concerned: having been convicted by two concurrent courts, he still enjoys police protection, outriders and all the trappings of power; he is allowed to lead political campaigns and isn’t shy about splashing his wealth around; he is encouraged to address political gatherings like the recent National Front convention where he declared, to rousing applause, “I’m not a thief, I was only accused of laundering funds that I did not employ.”
It’s not even a good try.
This is the legal definition of criminal breach of trust, for which he was found guilty by two courts.
“Whoever, being in any manner entrusted with property, or with any dominion over property, either solely or jointly with any other person, dishonestly misappropriates, or converts to his own use, that property, or dishonestly uses or disposes of that property in violation of any direction of law prescribing the mode in …”
How much clearer does he want it to get?
There is more.
He gets invited to the palace for dinner with our King and Queen.
Everywhere he goes, he is lauded as “our boss who need not feel any shame.”
When he tweets that he loves trains, MRT Corp immediately invites him and his family on the maiden journey of its Putrajaya line.
What gives? Are these the values we are asked to pass on to our children?
And what’s with the silence from the religious right, the same ones who see red over Bon Odori, who wax apoplectic over the attire of our airline stewardesses?
What, no comment on Bossku?
By all means, let’s march to demand justice for Malaysians.