Thursday, July 19, 2007

Why we lost faith in the man man lai promise?

One of my fave columnists in malaysiakini, Dean Johns, on whom I wrote a farewell tribute in I'll miss you, Emperor Nasi Goreng has a new article lamenting the sad state of justice in Malaysia.

In typical wry humour he described the Malaysian version of the western symbol of Justice.

In the West, ‘Justice’ is usually represented by a blind-folded woman holding a set of scales.

The symbol stems from antiquity when ancient Egyptians revered Maat as one of their Gods - Egyptians liked choice in their gods until one intolerant bloke Akhenaten came along.

Maat was the Goddess of Justice and often depicted carrying a sword with an ostrich feather in her hair to symbolize truth and justice. In fact, the term magistrate is derived from Ma'at because she assisted Osiris in the judgment of the dead by weighing their hearts (gulp).

The ancient Greeks knew her as Themis, but it was the Romans who portrayed her as evenly balancing both scales, with a sword in her hand (gulp again) and wearing a blindfold, meaning she (Justitia, as she was known on the Seven Hills) would be blind to corrupt or naughty influences.

So we have a Western justice system represented by the symbol of Justitia being impervious to corruption, and without fear ort favour, weighing justice fairly by her scales. I needn’t mention what her sword symbolises as we Malaysians are fairly familiar with such weapons, though our keris has nothing to do with justice but more with right of might.

But it seems that the symbol of the BN, a dacing (also the same set of scales) also has nothing to do with the symbol of judging right from wrong by a justice system that’s blind to fear or favour.

According to Dean “BN's been robbing justice blind for years ........ But it's become increasingly clear in recent times that BN has co-opted the scales for the purpose of tipping the forces of the law in its favour not just occasionally, but consistently and chronically.”

“And kept the blindfold over the eyes of justice to celebrate its success in pulling the wool over the peoples' eyes with a combination of official obfuscation, blinkered media and laws designed to keep outsiders in the dark. “

See why I love Dean John's articles ;-)

In his new article, he also pondered over the unacceptable and probably illegal remand of Nathaniel Tan. He wondered, like many, whether the abuse of justice was aimed not at Nat but rather his employer Anwar Ibrahim and Anwar's party, the PKR? In other words, was Nat just a convenient (proxy) target?

Then, Dean also considered another possibility for the dodgy persecution of Nat Tan.

He noticed that the investigation into the allegations against Nat is being conducted by the Cyber Crimes Division, possibly signalling the start of an intimidation campaign against the “growing legions of bloggers hell-bent on bringing BN down by betraying its secrets?”

I reckon the former may possibly be true, whilst I feel the latter, even if it has purchase, would not be effective.

Threatening bloggers? For a start, bloggers can remain anonymous and used overseas servers. Then, on the political cost-effective scales (pun not intended) the Malay heartland, which is the principal concern of UMNO (and bugger the MCA or Gerakan) isn’t exactly brimming with Internet capable PC’s and laptops, with only an arty farty minority being blogosphere savvy (who cares about them). The publicity surrounding any persecution of bloggers would be far more damaging to UMNO than worth the effort.

I believe that the harassment of Nat Tan might well have been an outcome of the current tussle between Johari Baharum and the IGP. Anyway, I am glad that Nat Tan has been released, though admittedly just on bail, but at least he can eat sandwiches instead of HMS nasi kari.

During Nat Tan’s incarceration, I had self-imposed an embargo on my usual target practice at the world’s greatest de facto leader, out of consideration for the Tan family. Now that Nat is out, well, it’s open season again ;-)

But I would just copy part of Dean’s article to show KTemoc isn’t the only person in Malaysia having the following thoughts – read on and weep:

If Anwar and PKR are actually the targets, I really don't see the point. As much as I deplored the way Anwar was set-up by Mahathir (on the same sodomy rap ...), I couldn't help feeling that finally at least one Umno big-wig was, however unjustly, getting his desserts.

And as strongly as I sympathised with the man as they paraded their perjured witnesses and the stained mattress, then had him assaulted and shut-up in solitary, I still can't view him entirely as a victim.

Nor can I see him today as anything but a spent force. Or, more accurately, as a misspent force. Frittering-away his new-found moral authority on making the fiery speeches for which he's so justly famous and messing-around in petty party-politics when, if he was truly serious and sincere, he could be bringing one documented charge after another against his former corrupt colleagues and their current successors in the Malaysian and possibly even international criminal courts, as well as the courts of local and world public opinion.

His repeated assertions that he will reveal all he knows and act accordingly "when the time comes" are sounding increasingly hollow, and doing nothing to allay many peoples' suspicions that he is "the same old Anwar" and thus not to be trusted.

He's calling for justice for Nat, naturally, as so many of the rest of us are. But if ever Anwar is going to contribute significantly to this country and its people, it's time he did something more concrete about wresting the scales from the clutches of BN and restoring them to justice where they belong.

Dean matey, read my previous posting The Anwar style of campaigning, and don’t hold your breath. After all, he was from UMNO.


  1. Sob, sob....I've finally seen the light !
    I once was lost, and now am found...

  2. what, you didn't use the PKR fave word 'hate'? ;-)