Aliran published the following:
... that [Lim Guan Eng] was first charged with falsely and maliciously publishing pamphlets in the following words: (Lim Guan Eng v Public Prosecutor (1998) 3 MLJ 14.)
The Tan Sri Rahim Tamby Chik sex scandal. Wither justice and women's rights. Victim imprisoned, criminal free.
But the fifteen old year schoolgirl had not been "imprisoned" but merely "detained" by the police. The statement in the pamphlet was therefore false and held to be malicious.
Second, Lim Guan Eng was held to have uttered the words, "that he was dissatisfied with the fact that the court had ordered the minor to be detained for three years whereas Rahim, who should have been imprisoned for violating the law, was instead set free".
It is important to note that while the accused was held to have published the word "imprisoned" he had uttered in his speech the word "detained".
In any event, this utterance was held by the court to be sedition because it had the tendency "to bring into hatred or contempt or .. excite disaffection against the administration of justice in Malaysia..."
This, in a nutshell was the case against Lim Guan Eng, the Member of Parliament for Kota Melaka. This is the reason he is serving a sentence of imprisonment for 18 months at Kajang Prison and has been disqualified from holding office.
The million-strong is left wondering and at a loss about the constitutional oath of office of a Member of Parliament and the right and duty of an elected parliamentarian, and indeed all citizens, to comment on a matter of public concern without fear or favour.
The million-member jury will no doubt long ponder over the difference between 'imprisonment' and 'detention', especially since the girl had in open court testified that she had tried to escape from the Rehabilitation Centre but was caught after she had escaped.
The jury is also left to wonder why an elected Member of Parliament is denied the freedom of expression enjoyed by a newspaper columnist Marina Mahathir who in her article captioned Whither Justice published in the Star on 9 November 1994 prior to Guan Eng's pamphlet had stated that:
There are injustices in the law which are mind-boggling ... a gross mockery of justice ... As a woman, especially a Muslim woman, I am angry, disgusted and ashamed ... As a mother, I now have real fears for my daughter. What protection can we hope for our daughters if, in the interests of politics, a minor can be so easily sacrificed?Indeed, my dear Datuk Paduka, the mind-boggling injustice had also affected Lim Guan Eng severely. The question we need to now ask is: will it too affect Rafizi Ramli?