– Dyana Sofya
The Malaysian Insider
December 18, 2013
Dear Zahid Hamidi, what happened to innocent until proven guilty?
The controversy surrounding Zahid Hamidi and Mat Sabu where the minister claimed that Mat Sabu is a Shiite, followed by the Ministry of Home Affairs’s 10 pieces of evidence to back the claim, has become the laughing stock throughout the nation.
Soon after, the ministry covered up by saying that the 10 pieces of evidence are only Grade B evidence, and that it would soon provide Grade A evidence to prove the Minister’s claim.
Not just that, Mat Sabu was asked to prove his innocence or rather his non involvement with Shiite movement.
Dear Minister of Home Affairs, what happened to rule of law where one is innocent until proven guilty?
The rule of law is the underlying framework of rules and rights that make prosperous and fair societies possible. The rule of law is a system in which no one, including government, is above the law; where laws protect fundamental rights; and where justice is accessible to all. No public official may act arbitrarily or unilaterally outside the law.
The rule of law requires the government to exercise its power in accordance with well-established and clearly written rules, regulations, and legal principles.
But when a government official acts without the imprimatur of any law, he or she does so by the sheer force of personal will and power.
If a case is brought up to court, the accused is presumed innocent until proven guilty.
However, this is a different case. Zahid Hamidi, who obviously thinks that he and his ministry are above the law, and who clearly exceed their legal authority through accusations based on 10 pieces of “Grade B” evidence, is now trying instigate the nation by saying that Mat Sabu is a Shiite, unless he is able to prove otherwise.
Since when did this nation adopt a doctrine that a person is presumed guilty until he is proven innocent?
What is the hidden agenda of accusing Mat Sabu of such? To challenge the credibility of PAS in the eyes of Malaysian Muslims and therefore Pakatan Rakyat? Or mainly to divert the nation’s attention from rising cost of living that is going uncontrollably under the administration of Barisan Nasional?
Dear Minister, if you really want to persecute Mat Sabu for a non-existing offense, you should at least go through a proper procedure because in this country, we do have laws. Rather than resorting to this tasteless publicity gimmick which obviously disregards fundamental rights of a person.
I am honestly surprised and disappointed at how a Minister of Home Affairs and former minister in the Prime Minister’s Department in charge of Islamic affairs are handling this matter.
I suggest that the Minister should drop this issue that is clearly to divert the nation’s attention from the rising cost of living, because it isn’t working. The people of Malaysia is upset and it is only making the nation a laughing stock. – December 18, 2013.
* The writer is political secretary to DAP’s Gelang Patah MP, Lim Kit Siang.