Posted: 10 Oct 2013 05:05 PM PDT
Zaid Ibrahim, TMI
The whole country is worried sick about the "shoot–first" policy, and understandably there has been barrage of criticism leveled against Minister of Home Affairs Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
True to character, he has remained defiant and totally unconcerned about the issues raised by his critics. In his latest tweet, he expresses bewilderment at how "these defenders of human rights" are only concerned about the rights of criminals and not the victims. He then explains that justice must be served, so when "we have evidence, we shoot them" because the victims (the majority of whom are apparently Malays) also deserve justice.
This is not the first time that we have been given a briefing on the theory of justice and human rights by an Umno leader. Nonetheless, it deserves a response if only to remind the people how bad our education system must be if a senior Minister is apparently unable to grasp simple concepts like justice, human rights and the rule of law.
In a democracy and in a modern country, justice requires due and transparent processes exercised by and through an independent arm of the government—that is, the judiciary, where the accused has the right to be heard and to argue his or her innocence. If "justice" is to be determined solely by the police and the minister, who will shoot first and ask no questions later, then we do not need the courts and the Rule of Law.
The minister says his critics see justice and human rights only for criminals. "What about the victims?" he asks. Human rights, for the benefit of the minister, are basic rights recognised by the world community. All human beings are entitled to these rights, regardless of who they are.
People must be treated in accordance with the law of the land. We do not distinguish "what kind of human" they are before they are entitled to these rights. So, we are not in favor of any particular group, nor do we call them criminals and shoot them. We do not punish anyone unless they are arrested, charged and convicted in a court of law.
The minister says that when the police have "evidence", they shoot. What happens if the evidence is false or concocted? What happens if someone plants false evidence on the minister? Shall we shoot him too?
I have come to the conclusion that leaders such as the home minister do not understand the basic concepts of justice, rights and due process in the administration of law. Such leaders are denied this understanding because our education system has been terrible for a long time.
Concepts and principles of law and justice aren't very difficult to understand but they are not taught in our schools. As a result, these leaders do not comprehend the noble ideals they are sworn to uphold. I feel sorry for them.
Posted: 10 Oct 2013 01:21 PM PDT
Because there are.
Posted: 10 Oct 2013 12:50 PM PDT
WISDOM: Despite shortcomings that are yet to be overcome and expectations yet to be fulfilled, Sarawak's decision in 1963 to be part of the Malaysian federation is right
John Teo, NST
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