Anything to distract the unwashed.

A departure from legal norm - guilty until proven innocent

Posted on 19/12/2013 - 09:30

Mariam Mokhtar

OUTSPOKEN: The faster we climb out of the mess created by Umno-Baru, the better it is for Malaysia. The diehard Umno-Baru supporters should reflect on this: The Malays have received the most benefits, the most educational and business opportunities, and the most generous handouts for over five decades; but in 2013, the Malays are still the poorest in the land. It is obvious that the Umno-Baru formula does not work.

Umno-Baru politicians have become mega-millionaires, but not you. Umno-Baru made millionaires of some people with the right political connections, but few skills and an even lower inclination to work. So have you got the right political links, or are you at the back of the long queue of sycophants?

There is no political will to save this country from the economic, social and religious morass. The answer lies not in the politicians, but in us. We deserve the politicians we elect (or those who cheated in the elections).

If we fail to censure errant politicians, they will take advantage and become uncontrollable. Question their policies. Make them accountable for their actions. Punish them when they lie, cheat or commit crimes.

Day after day, cabinet ministers feed us with trivia in an attempt to distract us from important issues which affect our daily lives. These are the politicians to watch. Why are they distracting us? What have they to hide?

The latest diversion involves PAS deputy president Mohamad Sabu, popularly known as Mat Sabu. Umno-Baru has engineered a political move to discredit him. Mat Sabu is popular with both Malays and non-Malays. He is a crowd puller in all the ceramahs, both in and out of Malaysia.

In 2011, Mat Sabu was accused by Umno-Baru of being a communist when he gave a talk about Malay freedom fighters. Soon after this incident, Utusan Malaysia twisted Mat Sabu’s words and alleged that he had ‘defamed the dead’.

Today, it is the Home Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s turn to distract the rakyat. He alleges that Mat Sabu is a Shiite. Zahid claims that he does not want Malaysia to descend into chaos like Iraq. He said, “I will not compromise on national security and safety and action will be taken as I do not want the country to be split into two groups of people.”

Zahid is in denial. The country is already split because of Umno-Baru’s divisive policies.

Zahid will not arrest and charge Mat Sabu because he knows that Mat Sabu has done no wrong. A weak leader passes the buck to his underling. This is what Zahid did. He passed the responsibility to the Home Ministry secretary-general Datuk Abdul Rahim Mohamad Radzi.

Abdul Rahim, in typical Umno-Baru fashion, then passed the responsibility to Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Jamil Khir Baharom.

In a game reminiscent of musical chairs, Umno-Baru passed the buck to avoid taking action, because they are afraid of the consequences. Jamil then said that it was up to the various religious units in the individual states to arrest Mat Sabu, for a crime he had not committed.

After Zahid’s international condemnation of the Shiites, and the national hype about Mat Sabu being a deviant, it fell onto the shoulders of the Home Ministry’s religious officer Ustaz Dr Zamihan Mat Zain Al Ghari to be the fall-guy. Zamihan told Mat Sabu to respond to the 10 pieces of evidence exposed by the ministry against him and prove his innocence.

So now, we have an official of the home minister telling the accused, who has not been charged in court or arrested, to prove his innocence.

In Malaysia, the best democracy in the world, a country with the best education in the world, we have a departure from the legal norm, where people are innocent until they are proven guilty. In Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s Malaysia, people are guilty until proven innocent.

Perhaps, the following people should also come forward to prove their innocence.

Former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad for allegedly giving the go-ahead to allow Filipinos of Muslim extraction into Sabah, in an attempt to give Umno-Baru the political edge.

A former defence minister for his alleged involvement in the death of a Mongolian model.

The special adviser Abdul Razak Baginda for his alleged role in the Scorpene submarine scandal.

The minister for tourism for his alleged links with the timber tycoon Michael Chia and the suitcase stuffed with millions of ringgit.

The Election Commission (EC) chairman and his deputy for their roles in allegedly allowing Umno-Baru to cheat in GE13.

Mat Sabu is targeted because the home minister and Najib want to create a diversion. Take your pick from the following:

The Serdang hospital has seen another collapse of its infrastructure. The KLIA2 complex is plagued with structural defects, its opening has been delayed again, from 2011 to 2014, with costs doubling from RM2 billion to RM4 billion. The rise in road toll charges slated for 2014. The GST has caused public outrage. The excessive spending by ministerial spouses has caused more anger. The cost of living has spiralled out of control. Illicit outflows worth RM174 billion have not been stemmed. The Malaysian education is in the news again, having just received another bad rating.

Mat Sabu is a convenient distraction because the finance minister has nothing to say about our economic and financial woes, and appears to have no solution.

Mariam Mokhtar is "a Malaysian who dares to speak the truth."