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Rule of law and civilised governments

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Tota compares the contrasting reactions to calls for atrocities to be investigated in a couple of western democracies and in Malaysia.

Graphic: freemalaysiatoday

In the Batang Kali massacre on 12 December 1948, 24 unarmed Chinese tappers were killed by British troops. The Action Committee formed to seek justice and compensation from the British Government carried out a long drawn-out struggle.

The four claimants, Chong Nyok Keyu, Loh Ah Choi, Lim Kok and Wooi Kim Thai, who are relatives of the victims, have pursued their cause with tenacity of mind and purpose.

For the first time in 64 years, the British government has been called upon to give a public account of this atrocity during the emergency. For the first time ordinary Malaysians have successfully been granted a judicial review application by the British High Court to challenge the British government’s decision that no massacre had occurred.

In addition to full representation within the British legal and judicial system, funding amounting to £1 million has been granted by the British government. Britain does not have a written constitution. All its laws lie in statute books. Yet the rule of law is strictly observed and justice is always seen to be done.

Similarly, the Dutch government granted permission to the Indonesian government to pursue a Dutch massacre in that country in 1947. As a member of the European Union, Holland, where the International Court of Justice resides, observed the conventions of the Union. The descendants of the victims were very generously compensated. Again, a western democracy observed the rule of law and justice was seen to be done.

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On the contrary, a Mongolian woman Altantunya was blown to smithereens with army explosive C4. The big and corrupt political criminals have got off scot free and two ‘small fry’ bodyguards of Najib and Rosmah, who had no reason to kill her have been charged with the murder. The Malaysian courts, as expected, conducted a trial, widely seen as a sham. Who approved the use of C4 and how the two bodyguards obtained it were never pursued. Vital leads were not followed and the Public Prosecutor played the role of a court jester! The AG did not appeal when Baginda was acquitted.

Altantunya’s father filed a RM100000 suit against the Malaysian Government and some politicians for the murder of his daughter. What the Malaysian Government did is disgraceful. They asked Altantunya’s father to deposit RM1.3m with the government before he could pursue his case! What a difference between Malaysia, England and Holland. In the two European Union countries, rule of law is strictly observed and they go to great lengths to ensure justice is done.

In Putrajaya, we have a grand Palace of Justice – just for show only. Our government is supposed to be influenced by Islamic principles in which justice is a main pillar. Those who manage our justice and legal system are clueless clods when it comes to dispensing justice. In a country where rule by law and not rule of law is the order of the day, victims of injustice have no hope!

Who was the goon who said that Malaysia is the world’s best democracy?

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Tota is the pseudonym of an occasional contributer to Thinking Allowed Online

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