Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Discounted Justice

Yesterday, The Sun had on its front page the headline “Plea & reduce”. Malaysia’s Chief Justice Zaki Azmi came out with this plea bargaining ruling ostensibly to save the courts' time and reduce the number of backlogged cases. According to this clever fellow, an accused person who pleads guilty to a crime, may receive only half the maximum punishment. He said that criminal cases considered for plea bargaining included those which carried the death penalty but this would apply to only first-time offenders. To him, speed takes priority. He wants the Courts and their efficiency to be judged by looking at the number of cases disposed off by the Courts. Never mind the quality of judgments. Never mind justice and fairness. In other words, never mind the laws of the land!

It was the same too when Malaysian motorists who settled their traffic summonses got a 50 percent discount if they paid up within a two-week deadline and 30 percent by the end of the month (Webpage
http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2010/12/1/nation/7529207&sec=nation, posted December 01, 2010).

What does this tell you? That if you do wrong, just own up and you get reduced sentences or reduced fines. So break the law, people – it’s alright! Even if punishment is staring at you in the face, it’s a watered-down version. Aren’t we encouraging law-breakers?

For those who believe that BN will lose the next general election – think again! Political pundits predict a clear BN win (Webpage
http://www.malaysia-today.net/mtcolumns/newscommentaries/36670-pundits-predict-clear-bn-win-dismiss-hung-parliament-prediction, posted December 14, 2010). So banish that thought that BN will concede! Expel that idea that BN will capitulate! Surrender that notion that BN will fail. Sigh! And I thought anti-BN forces have a chance.

That is why it is important to mobilize Malaysians to register as voters, to come out to vote when the time comes and to mark the ballot paper accordingly – only then can we have a chance to dispose off BN! Save Malaysia by changing the government.

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