Anwar on Friday. Karpal on Tuesday. Who’s next?

Karpal Singh in court - Photograph: The Malaysian Insider

Malaysian courts have brought infamy to the justice system. The way justice has been dished out is nothing short of disgraceful and dishonourable.

Karpal Singh in court - Photograph: The Malaysian Insider
Karpal Singh in court – Photograph: The Malaysian Insider

What Karpal Singh did following the undemocratic overthrow of the duly elected Perak Pakatan government was to express an opinion based on the Constitution. The provision in the Constitution provided for this opinion to be expressed.

At no time did Karpal question His Royal Highness, the Sultan of Perak. At no time was Karpal offensive in expressing this opinion. No insult was meant. The Sultan’s authority was not challenged. Karpal was not disrespectful to the royal personage.

The prevailing situation then needed a professional legal opinion on what had transpired. And Karpal merely gave his professional legal opinion honestly, without fear or favour. This is expected of an elected Member of Parliament and an experienced lawyer. Karpal was discharging his duty and responsibility by commenting on a matter of public interest.

It is a great national tragedy that the Court is unable to differentiate an honest opinion from a crass and gross verbal onslaught crudely expressed without any respect to the royal personage. In Karpal’s case, this is clearly a travesty of justice which is most unfair and undeserved.

We are told that the Court had taken into consideration Karpal’s health in not imposing a jail sentence, but that means nothing. When Anwar’s lawyer pleaded for time to submit a report on his health before sentence was passed, it was summarily dismissed as of no consequence. The Court was in a hurry to dispose of him.

The Court must have been mindful of the fact that a jail sentence for Karpal would have outraged the nation and there would have been an international outcry against this. So the Court imposed a fine.

But the fact is, if the whole case against Karpal was meant to knock him out as a Member of Parliament, that objective was achieved by this RM4000 fine, which could disqualify him in the event he fails in his appeal.

There seems to be a trend now to get rid of Pakatan leaders through the court process so that Umno can remain in power. Anwar was put away on Friday; it was Karpal’s turn on Tuesday. Who else next?

In the pending cases involving Pakatan leaders, this would be the outcome. One by one, the Pakatan leaders will be disabled and dispatched off through the predictably subservient judiciary.

The majority of Malaysians roundly condemn this atrocious targeting of Opposition leaders. They will show their anger and displeasure when they hold the ballot papers in their hands. There is no doubt about it.

They understand the truth in the saying, “If the society today allows wrongs to go unchallenged, the impression is created that those wrongs have the approval of the majority.”

When will Umno understand that the majority of Malaysians don’t condone these wrongs and don’t approve of their modus operandi? Don’t they see this is contrary to all democratic principles which Malaysians aspire to nowadays?

P Ramakrishnan
Aliran executive committee member
11 March 2014

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P Ramakrishnan
P Ramakrishan, the long-serving former president of Aliran, has been granted a respite and now happily serves as an Aliran executive committee member. He has carried the flag for human rights and democracy for Aliran since its inception in 1977, when the term 'human rights' was considered something of a dirty word.


  1. This is how the schmucks at Umno has now come up with eliminating the opposition instead of arresting and having them locked up without trial. At least they can’t be accused that they were jailed without trial ! Though it may seem to be a new idea but the end results are the same.

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