Where is justice?

After having been told that his words were harsh by the judge, Shafee did not show any remorse

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If a lay person is puzzled and confused with the judiciary, that is perfectly understandable. Many could not understand how Malaysiakini could be convicted of contempt of court when it did not appear to disparage the judiciary. After all, the judiciary has not managed to restore public confidence.

In this contempt of court case, the judiciary landed on Malaysiakini like a ton of bricks in finding Malaysiakini guilty. It was so outraged seemingly that it found it necessary to ignore the already hefty RM200,000 fine recommended by the attorney general and instead imposed a draconian punishment – a fine which was 150% more as a drastic punishment – of a mind-boggling half-a-million ringgit!

To many, the judiciary was apparently so upset; it was so angry it was disparaged, it could not contain itself. As a result, it was driven to inflict a punishment that was so severe, to drive home the fact that the judiciary would not brook any nonsense. A half-a-million-ringgit fine was imposed on Malaysiakini, which did not in any way knowingly disparage the judiciary.

Two lay persons were carried away and criticised the judiciary unsparingly when they posted their comments on Malaysiakini. But Malaysiakini, to its credit, removed the offending remarks as soon as it became aware of it. The fact that Malaysiakini had acted responsibly and immediately did not cut ice with the judiciary.

Now compare this with what had happened within the precincts of the court in the presence of three judges in the Court of Appeal.

Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, the senior counsel for Najib Razak concerning the RM42m corruption case, referred to the High Court Judge, Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali who convicted Najib, in caustic terms. He called him incompetent and labelled his judgment as poisoned. He disparaged him outrageously.

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Here are some examples of his open criticism in court:

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All the above remarks and comments have thoroughly scandalised the judge.

If you compare the incident involving Malaysiakini and what was uttered in the court without mincing any words, you would tend to dismiss Malaysiakini’s infraction as a minor oversight. But Shafee’s opinion of the judge and his judgment, without any doubt, constituted contempt of court. How come the judiciary did not act with the same degree of indignation in this instance?

Is there a special privilege for the legal fraternity to be free with its words and opinion of the judiciary, however belittling, as compared to the lay person’s right to express similar sentiments about the judiciary? To many, this may appear to be a clear case of double standards.

Why hasn’t the attorney general sprung into action? After all, Shafee’s disparaging remarks and opinions were published in print? Malaysiakini also carried this. How come in this instance Malaysiakini is not in contempt of court?

After having been told that his words were harsh by the judge, Shafee did not show any remorse. He did not apologise. He did not withdraw the offending remarks. In any case, there were no such reports.

We are persuaded by the glaring differences in treatment and the appearance of double standards to ask, “Where is justice?”

“True freedom requires the rule of law and justice, and a judicial system in which the rights of some are not secured by the denial of rights to others.” – Jonathan Sacks

Law is not law, if it violates the principles of eternal justice. – Lydia Maria Child

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SARAAJAN
SARAAJAN
12 Apr 2021 8.48pm

I CONCUR

Gursharan Singh
Gursharan Singh
11 Apr 2021 10.54am

JUSTICE may be of NO VALUE and perceived to be used to DEFRAUD citizens by giving them false hope even when they mey be right.

The CULTURE IS RULE OF LAW which can HAVE MULTIPLE INTERPRETATIONS dependng on LEGAL PRACTITIONERS and those in JUDGEMENT. This may have been evidenced by the multiple appeals where decisions can change and highest court decision being final.

LAWS [incl. CONSTITUTION] can BE CHANGED TO SUIT THOSE IN POWER BY LEADERS in POWER.

Legal cases can drag on for years and convicted can be pardoned. Thus
JUSTICE DELAYED IS JUSTICE DENIED or DEFEATED.

International culture due to opportunities for self enrichment as
GREED HAS NO BOTTOM/LIMIT including rich and BE AT THE DOOR STEPS OF THEIR RESPECTIVE ALMIGHTY.

Bless all

loyal malaysian
loyal malaysian
11 Apr 2021 5.51am

A big salute to you, Rama.
I will not add my comments lest the COA deem it necessary to make an example of me.
So, it is obvious there is a rule for Muhammad Shafee Abdullah and another for all other litigants.
“Where is justice?” – yes, where indeed?