Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Prosecution Asks Court to Shoot Legal Profession in the Foot

There's a disturbing trend for trying to lock up people who, in all respects, are doing their jobs.

First, there was the case of the Sin Chew reporter who published the racist remarks uttered by Ahmad Ismail. She ended up under the ISA, a move so politically disastrous that the Home Minister had to backtrack, saying that it was for her own protection. Ahmad Ismail on the other hand got a slap on the wrist, and was welcomed as a hero in his own UMNO branch, indicating the apparent UMNO philosophy that calling fellow citizens “penumpang” is really something you should just say a little quieter.

Now this with Karpal Singh, being charged under the Sedition Act for recommending a avenue of appeal is entirely legal. Here’s news to the powers-that-be: he’s a lawyer, and he was talking about the law. To top it off, he’s not talking about a technicality or a hypothetical case – he’s actually filed suits against royalty before. Not to mention that the law was actually put in place by UMNO’s former president, and signed by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong of the day.

Now the court has a rather distasteful matter in front of it. The prosecution, has already shot the legal profession in one foot, and is asking the court to finish the job of judicial suicide. They are being asked, in the home of the system of justice in our country designed to enforce the law of the land, to convict a person for speaking about what that law actually is all about.

If the Malaysian public can’t see the extent of idiocy in this act of lunacy, then the courts don’t have much left to shoot.

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