During his speech at the MIC Congress, Umno president Zahid Hamidi said that other Barisan Nasional (BN) leaders could suffer selective prosecution from Pakatan Harapan’s (PH) would-be government – just as he and his predecessor Najib Razak have endured.
“The election this time is the mother of all elections and if we fail, a worse fate awaits us compared to the results of GE14 [the 2018 general election].”
“I’m not the only one that will be charged, Tok Mat; you are on the waiting list,” he said, referring to Umno deputy president Mohamad Hasan, drawing laughter from the crowd.
Zahid urged MIC president SA Vigneswaran, MIC deputy president M Saravanan, MCA president Wee Ka Siong and Umno veteran politician Hishammuddin Hussein not to take this issue lightly, as they too were supposedly in the crosshairs of their political rivals.
It is obvious that the term “selective prosecution” has been used for political mileage by Umno, without understanding what it really constitutes. It cannot be addressed without looking at the historical dimension or comparing it with overwhelming evidence or lack of evidence in a court case.
Historically, it is the opposition leaders from the DAP, Pas and PKR that have gone through sustained selective prosecution at the hands of the BN government for being critical or exposing the malpractices of its members.
Operation Lalang, which saw the arrest and detention of opposition leaders under the Internal Security Act during Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s authoritarian rule in the 1980s could be regarded as prima facie evidence of selective prosecution.
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Compared that with the trial of former prime minister Najib Razak, that was based on overwhelming evidence verified by international bodies, eliminating any contention of selective prosecution.
PH did not deliberately target, detain or charge opposition leaders during its rule for criticising the government even though there was clear evidence that the opposition was manipulating race and religion to create tension in the country.
The BN government, on the other hand, has used draconian legal instruments to muzzle opposition parties for decades, and this is what constitutes selective prosecution.
It is time to put another of Umno’s delusions to rest. – The Malaysian Insight