Malicious/selective prosecution of Mat Sabu should dampen euphoria in certain quarters sparked by Najib’s latest gambit to brand himself as reformer par excellence to make Malaysia “ best democracy in the world”

The malicious and selective prosecution of PAS Deputy President Mat Sabu for criminal defamation should dampen the euphoria in certain quarters sparked by the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s latest gambit to brand himself as the reformer par excellence to make Malaysia the “best democracy in the world”.

The proposals to set up a parliamentary select committee on electoral reforms, to repeal the nefarious Internal Security Act (ISA) and to amend various laws such as Printing Presses and Publications Act (PPPA) have not been able to stand up to close scrutiny that they are intended to usher in a major democratisation of the country.

The proposed parliamentary select committee will only be meaningful if it results in changes to the electoral system to ensure free and fair elections as envisaged in the Eight Demands of Bersih 2, and most important of all, that such reforms are all effected before the dissolution of Parliament and the holding of the next general elections.

The very fact that the Prime Minister is not prepared to give an undertaking that Parliament would not be dissolved until the parliamentary select committee has made recommendations for a free and fair electoral system and their full implementation raises the question whether this is just a political ploy or a meaningful reform exercise.

The repeal of the ISA will be tested as to whether the two replacement laws for it would only result in spawning new ISA-like detention-without-trial laws without the term of “ISA”.

The PPPA amendment to do away with annual licensing for newspapers will not lead to free and responsible press so long as the government continues to exercise a media stranglehold through other measures as licensing of newspapers and political party ownership and control of newspapers.

At a time when Najib’s bona fides for political reforms has come to the very national forefront, the malicious and selective prosecution of Mat Sabu for criminal defamation has come as a reminder that if Malaysia is to make progress towards a more democratic society, upholding human rights and the rule of law, it is equally important to end the gross abuses of power so rampant in the present system – as illustrated by the case of the malicious and selective prosecution of Mat Sabu for criminal defamation.

There are incidents galore in the past two years of reckless and irresponsible incitement of racial and religious hatred and tensions, as in the lies and falsehoods alleging a DAP conspiracy for a Christian Malaysia and and a Christian Prime Minister, but which enjoy utter immunity and impunity from prosecution.

There must not only be far-reaching reforms to abolish draconian and undemocratic laws but also a restoration of the independence, professionalism and integrity of key national institutions, whether the Judiciary, Attorney-General’s Chambers, Police, Election Commission or MACC, if Malaysia is to become a normal democratic country.

  1. #1 by boh-liao on Thursday, 22 September 2011 - 1:34 pm

    D best demoncrazy in d world mah, so Y can’t hv malicious n selective prosecution of MS
    D is d best time 2 sabo Sabu mah, b4 d next GE lor

  2. #2 by monsterball on Thursday, 22 September 2011 - 1:55 pm

    Best liar …flip flopper PM in the world,,,,Najib is.
    His swearing at the mosque have done him in for good.
    So much have been revealed since then…all by his own empty promises and actions contradicting the promises…to frighten Malaysians since no one can be fooled by him.
    What more we have not seen and know about him?
    He thinks by putting Anwar in jail…his position is secured like the Ringleader….his adopted father.
    Nothing comes from nothing.
    Watch the Devil’s son kill his adopted father party and bring all corrupted lot to court soon.
    Najib has one more….a murdered ghost following him.

  3. #3 by country for good malaysian on Thursday, 22 September 2011 - 2:30 pm

    This is really terrible. I can’t imagine this happening. What happen if this is a topic for discussion in school. You mean we cannot take a different view point??? What is the AG doing?? Unbelievable!

  4. #4 by bennylohstocks on Thursday, 22 September 2011 - 3:38 pm


  5. #6 by bennylohstocks on Thursday, 22 September 2011 - 3:41 pm

  6. #7 by Jeffrey on Thursday, 22 September 2011 - 4:17 pm

    I can’t undertand how a charge of Criminal Defamation per section 500 of Penal Code could be sustained against Mat Sabu who allegedly said that the Bukit Kepong police were British police and those who attacked the station were the actual independence fighters. Firstly defamation relates more to injury to reputation of a person (whether alive or deceased) than the whole class of Bukit Kepong police force decades ago. Secondly it is also a fact that police then were under British unless we believe some academics here that we have never been colonised. Thirdly, the point of attack of Mat Sabu is directed more at contradicting the government/UMNO for portraying on Merdeka Day that they played a major role to fight for independence. That is not defamation because it’s a part of political engagement on a matter of public historical interest.

  7. #8 by Jeffrey on Thursday, 22 September 2011 - 4:21 pm

    I don’t think he is charged for defaming the government or UMNO. It is ordinary that our politicians on both side of political divide taunt or contradict each other’s version that way. Its all part of the pretension that we’re a democracy. But back to the point: he is charged for defaming some of the policemen (dead or alive) in Bukit Kepong and that is misconceived because Mat Sabu’s attack was directed at contradicting the government/UMNO’s claims that they (through Bukit Kepong’s police) played a major role to fight for independence. YB Kit must have used the words “malicious and selective prosecution” based on the apparent lack of basis of such a charge. Kit also said that preferring such a charge contradicts “Najib’s bona fides” in political reforms. If that were the case then its neither Opposition nor Mat Sabu that sabotages the PM’s bonafides. It’s an after event of some others more likely from quarters on the opposite side uncomfortable with his reform image.

  8. #9 by Jeffrey on Thursday, 22 September 2011 - 4:56 pm

    If there were any malicious and selective prosecution, one is never sure who’s initiating it within govt. Of course everything may be blamed on PM as he’s head and is held accountable but no one knows whether he acutally knows or endorses beforehand this kind of vigilante initiatives (the last one being Datuk T pornographic expose in Carcosa) (for whatever agendas) to ostensibly bolster BN’s electoral chances as against Opposition that ends up backfiring on the numero ono. Whatever it is, from rakyat’s interest standpoint, it underscores ultimately the utmost importance of Judiciary to be independent as discussed in earlier thread per Koon Yew Yin’s discourse on “Separation of Powers”. The reason is simple: if there is no way the people could check malicious and selective prosecution from the Executive’s side, then everything falls back on the judicial referee (Courts) to strike down any malicious and selective prosecution when it is brought to their attention for adjudication. If referee were not independent/fair to act as bulwark between Executive and citizenry, then all kinds of abuse of power can happen, black can be turn to white, anyone can be charged with and convicted by anything.

  9. #10 by sheriff singh on Thursday, 22 September 2011 - 5:16 pm

    ‘ democracy in the world..’.

    Don’t you think this is a far, far too ambitious target for UMNO /BN to aim for and to achieve? Most will be happy I think if we can just aim to be the best in our own backyard and classification and then if we succeed, to aim for the moon.

    Our institutions have in the recent decades been going on a tail spin instead of upwards. Nothing the governments have tried in recent years have given us some hope that things are improving or have improved, democracy-wise.

    Given this alarming and unchecked, continuing trend, Najib’s vision cannot be taken seriously but to be seen as mere sloganeering, rhetorics and wishful thinking with no prospects for success or headway even in the long-term.

    Let us first arrest this decline, get ourselves out of the basement first before we aim higher or talk of higher ideals.

    Sadly, even if Muhyiddin or somebody else in UMNO / BN take over, the prospects are still not good at all.

    Does PR have a plan to be ‘the best democracy in the world’?

  10. #11 by sheriff singh on Thursday, 22 September 2011 - 5:23 pm

    Moderated again.

    I suppose PR will moderate everything when it comes to power, this being their modus operandi to be ‘the best democracy in the world’.

    Everything will be sanitised, to be ‘approved’ before release. Will it create a ‘Ministry of Truth’ when it hopefully come to power soon?

  11. #12 by Loh on Thursday, 22 September 2011 - 6:01 pm

    Mat Sabu commented on an incident in the past. If his interpretation of history could be liable to criminal charge, then teachers teaching history not based exclusively on the written text are at risk. Hence history taught in school is just propaganda for the ruling government. DPM Muhyiddin who made history a compulsory subject to pass must have sinister intention to mould the students to believe in UMNO’s propaganda.

    Najib declared that nobody would be placed under ISA for harbouring political thought. How can Malaysia attain the status of true democracy, let alone the best, when the government cannot even allow free discussion on the country’s history?

    The government is using law to inconvenience opposition politicians so that they are not able to concentrate on election campaign. But when the voters are convinced that the government is politicising law enforcement in the country, they will make up their mind to ditch BN.

  12. #13 by yhsiew on Friday, 23 September 2011 - 8:05 am

    Najib’s reform is a farce.

    Undilah video taken off-air over Ku Li speech, opposition figures

  13. #14 by k1980 on Friday, 23 September 2011 - 8:34 am

    If one’s interpretation of history could be liable to criminal charge, then all the Japanese politicians should all be arrested and jailed for denying and covering up the Jap army’s crimes in World War 2.

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