Saturday, 31 August 2013

No Justice, No Peace

In another post this week I've been talking about all the unpleasant news from all over World; but things can be just as depressing over here in Malaysia. And recently Lady Justice has been having a pretty tough few weeks here in Malaysia.

There was a pretty horrific bus accident that claimed the lives of 37 people including the driver on their way back from Genting Highlands; the driver had lost control and the bus plunged into a ravine. Survivors of the bus accident later told reporters that the driver of the bus seemed angry at another car that had overtaken the bus. It was later revealed in the papers that the bus may have had faulty breaks but the Road Transport Department is still investigating. The bus driver also had 16 traffic summonses issued against him, all of them except for one were for speeding.

Hopefully the survivors of the bus crash as well as the families of the victims might get some justice and compensation for the ordeal they've been through. I'm no legal expert but it seems to me to be a little irresponsible on the part of the bus operator to hire a driver with 16 traffic summonses. I's like Post Malaysia hiring postmen who instead of delivering the mail, decide to dump it in the jungle instead. Oh wait..that did happen.

Unfortunately, in cases like these where the driver is also killed and can't be held accountable the authorities seem to forget all about it once the hubbub has died down. Sure, there's already a talk of setting up a panel to investigate the accident; but this isn't the first time an accident like this has happened. And when the next accident happens, everyone goes through this process all over again.

Malaysia just might be one of the countries where the criminals might just end up arresting you. I say this after reading a story about a man by the name of Saravanan Batumalai who a month ago saw a woman being mugged by two men on a motorcycle; he then sped up and rammed his car into the motorcycle.

One of the men managed to get up and run away while the other still tried to get away on the bike. Saravanan then rammed the motorcycle a second time pinning the bike under his car. The guy then pulled out a knife and Saravanan did not pursue him because he was armed. When the police arrived later they traced the bike and said that it belonged to the Kelana Jaya police station (Da Fuq?!)

That's not even the best part; Saravanan later went to the police station to record his statement, where he had to wait for two hours. After the long wait the senior police officer called for two men to be brought in; he recognized them as being the same men who tried to rob the woman. And he was later told that they were policemen. He later formally identified them at a police line-up.

I think we can all agree that Saravanan Batumalai is a BAMF and that those two cops are a bunch of punks with badges (allegedly). I have to say “allegedly” for legal purposes; the policemen are still under investigation a month later and still haven't been suspended from duty (Da Fuq?!). Apparently it's really complicated to charge the police with a crime. So just to cover my bases let me say that all suspected criminal cops are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. For the record I like cops but only the good honest ones. The rest can go erm..have sexual intercourse with one another.

Recently a video went viral here in Malaysia on Facebook; the video showed a family entering an elevator. The husband then assaults the wife by slapping her a few times; as the wife tries to get away from the husband he kicks her causing her to fall. The husband then proceeds to kick her several more times before exiting the lift with the children and leaving the woman behind. can be horrible. Naturally there was a fair bit of outrage from Netizens.

The police have identified Mohammad Affandi Ismail as the man in the video and he has been charged with voluntarily causing hurt to his wife. The offence under Section 323 of the Penal Code carries a maximum one-year jail term or RM2,000 maximum fine or both.
He has pleaded not guilty to allegedly (really?) assaulting his wife and was granted bail by the court.

As he left the courthouse he was followed by press photographers; he was smiling and gave them a thumbs up. Before entering his car he said “I apologise to all women. I did not mean to teach my wife a lesson.” I'm not a lawyer but doesn't that sound like an admission of guilt? Personally, if he is found guilty for his “alleged” assault he should be tied to a tree like a piƱata and “all women” can show him how they feel about what he had done. Allegedly of course. I wouldn't want to get in trouble for expressing my opinion. As always he is innocent until proven guilty.

Even the Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak had weighed in on this case. He said that Malaysians should respect women “at home, at work and even in a lift.” I want to commend the Prime Minister for taking such a stance publicly on such a serious issue. Hopefully, all Malaysian men will take his lead and be more respectful towards women.

And I'm sure the Prime Minister is just as concerned as we Malaysians are over the aquittal of the two former police officers for the murder of Altantuya Shaariibuu. Altantuya Shaariibuu was murdered in 2006; according to the police investigation she had been shot twice before her body had been blown up with C-4 explosives; although they say that she may have been alive when her murderers used the C-4 to kill her. It's really hard to get your hands on a gun in Malaysia; unless of course you're a criminal. So I'm guessing that it's significantly harder to get your hands on C-4.

The police investigated the matter and arrested two police officers Chief Inspector Azilah Hadri and Corporal Sirul Azhar Umar. These men at the time were the bodyguards to the Minister of Defence Datuk Seri Najib Razak who of course is the current Prime Minister of Malaysia. This almost seems like a great plot to a John Grisham novel.

Anyway, in 2009 both men were found guilty and were given the death sentence. And just last week the Court of Appeals granted these two men an aquittal on the grounds that there were gaps in the evidence submitted and they have since been released from prison. If it wasn't so sad it would almost be funny.

For many people the aquittal came as a shock, most were expecting a mistrial at least. With a mistrial these men could have been taken to court again and the facts of the case would have been re-examined. There are still many unanswered questions in this case. Conspiracy theorists say that there are people higher up in the government responsible for Altantuya’s murder. But I guess now we'll never know. Since both these men have been acquitted they can never be charged over the same offence again. Of course, the real question now is who is responsible for Altantuya’s death?

The two former police officer aquitted of the murder of Altantuya Shaariibuu

The Prime Minister said that women needed to be protected and respected and it's the same for Altantuya Shaariibuu. Hopefully she will get some justice, as well as her father who said that he was disappointed with the verdict. I can only imagine the pain he must be going through again knowing that his daughter's murder is still unresolved.

Of course not knowing what really happened is only fuelling speculation online by Malaysians. There are so many conspiracy theories floating out there. One of the things that I've seen people keep mentioning is the fact that we've never even seen what these two former police officers looked like. They've always had their faces covered; at least in America people practically knew the life story of George Zimmerman. I could come face-to-face with these two men and never know who they were.

In a recent press conference about combating crime in Malaysia the Prime Minister said that “The people must live in a country where they feel safe and we will not compromise that.” Which is something I agree with wholeheartedly. No Justice, No Peace.

Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere”
Martin Luther King Jr.

Don't take my word for it; here are some links for you:

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