Thursday, October 2, 2008

Rule of Law – Why Fear Criticisms?

If Malaysia truly upholds the rule of law by being transparent and consistent in its application of the rule of law, then, Malaysia as a sovereign country should not fear any criticisms from the United States and other foreign countries in respect of human rights treatment and application of the law in cases that includes the investigations against Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

It was because of the fear that the rule of law was abused and investigations was politically motivated that caused much concern to the United States of the investigation of the sodomy case against Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, but, when the United States said something, our government was too quick to react and tell the United States not to interfere with Malaysia’s application of the rule of law in the investigation. Dr. Rais Yatim spoke at length about this before the United Nations 63rd Assembly on Saturday 28 September, 2008.

Malaysia should also examine its criticisms in the past of other nations in the application of the rule of law. If Malaysia don’t want others to criticize Malaysia, then, Malaysia should not simply take the lead the criticize others. In the past, Malaysia also did not spare the United States in respect of treatments of prisoners in Guanatanamo Bay and also about the treatment of Palestinian prisoners in the hands of the Isreal. Therefore, when the United States made some noise about its concern in the investigation against Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, Malaysia should take it gentlemanly and if anything done was wrong, then, rectify it. Why the double standard?

In the application of the rule of law, there is a need of a check and balance mechanisms to ensure the rule of law be applied transparently and fairly on all citizens and this mechanism includes constructive criticisms by the citizens and also by concerned countries that practise and belief in the rule of law and democracy. Malaysia could not be beyond criticism if the rule of law in Malaysia was ineffective and impotent. Malaysia should also understand that when rule of law becomes ineffective and impotent, democracy will collapse and will give way to the birth of dictatorship and arbitrary regime, in which, can also bring untold sufferings to the people of the country.

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