When I read of the comments by Zainul Arifin, the group managing editor the NST Group, I was gob-smacked by his condemnation of critics of MACC, accusing them of attempting to undermine Malay institutions – see The Malaysian Insider’s Kit Siang wants Nazri to warn NST boss over racial overtones.
I was gob-smacked not so much by his racist comments but his assertion that MACC is a Malay institution.
If I remember, all public institutions are Malaysian in character rather than that of the Malays, or Chinese, or Indians or whichever ethnic group.
By so asserting that MACC or the Police Force are Malay institutions, Zainul Arifin hasn’t done these two organisatiosn any favour, au contraire.
A Malaysian citizen has died under strange circumstances while in the custody of MACC. Thus people, the so-called critics of MACC, want explanations from MACC why a man, called in the anti graft agency as a mere witness (a) was interrogated overnight, for as long as 10 hours, and (b) left the MACC building in a body bag after the interrogation.
Would this be racist on the part of the so-called critics? Was their demand to know some answers a ‘challenge to Malays leadership’, as alleged by Zainul?
I was going to ask how in the world did he, with such a mentality, get to become group managing editor of the NST group? But I might have already answered my own question.
Then, Zainul asked why Khalid Ibrahim, the MB of Selangor would question “those of his own race to act fairly” - Kenapa Menteri Besar Selangor, seorang Melayu, meragui kebolehan orang sebangsanya bertindak dengan tulus dan adil?
Those of his own race.
That most regrettable leitmotif of Zainul Arifin, the bane of our Malaysian society.
And the ridiculousness of the situation has been Nazri Aziz warning Pakatan to stop politicising Teoh Beng Hock’s death while keeping quiet about Zainul Arifin’s outrageous blatant racism.
And we wonder why MACC (and the Police) would dare do what they have done.
The story of the MACC's contrasting treatment of a RM2,400 case versus one of RM24 million (yes, millions), leading to a tragic and senseless end for a mere witness has driven Dr David KL Quek, president of the Malaysian Medical Association, to lament in Malaysiakini's SOS - Shocked, Outraged, Saddened (extracts):
It is sad that in the process of trying to enforce the 'law', a young man with so much potential has been so ruthlessly cut down, his life truncated so prematurely, that he had now left behind a bride and his orphan child to be!
This cynical loss of life, so senseless and so unnecessary, points to perhaps another growing culture of arrogance when another's life was dehumanised and cheaply disposed of ... Power of authority was all that mattered.
This is indeed not something isolated, it is now appearing to be a pattern of ingrained autocracy, unchallenged power among enforcement agencies such as the police and now the MACC, with no foreseeable oversight in place.
Custodial 'torture', unregulated investigation methods, custodial injuries and deaths, now appear to be commonplace, and are occurring with a regularity that showcase our enforcement agencies' callous disregard for human lives and their imperious unconcern for human rights.
When will our helpless, disempowered citizens get justice?