Thin Skin Does Not Engender Respect

A 19-year-old labourer convicted on 14 counts of insulting the Johor crown prince last year has failed to reduce his two years detention sentence at the Henry Gurney correctional institute in Malacca.

The Court of Appeal today unanimously dismissed Muhammad Amirul Azwan Mohd Shakri’s appeal. The teenager from Tumpat, Kelantan had already spent four months at the institute and another three months in jail.

Justice Mohd Zawawi Mohd Salleh, who led the panel dismissed the appeal brought by lawyer Hassan Karim, to have his sentence remitted to a bond of good behaviour or that his parents pay a personal bond for good behaviour.

“We are unanimous and think that the High Court is lenient and right in changing his sentence from jail to spending time at the institute. The appeal is dismissed,” said the judge.

Our comment

A TV comedy series in the UK called Spitting Image was very popular in the 90s. Mostly it poked fun at the Royal Family, sometimes in a very harsh way.

The Royal Family did not respond. In fact, their institution has come out all the strnger for showing patience and forebearing in the face of cheap and childish insults.  It is hugely popular, although people discuss its weaknessses.

To slam a nobody boy in jail for two years, by contrast, for some kind of written insult, smacks of thin skinned, defensive arrogance on the part of a family born by chance into a position of prvilege.

Of course it is not they but toadying judges and officials who are behind this, but they are doing no long term favours to the family they are trying to suck up to.

Excessive deference to monarchs is nearly always a mask for the real power mongers who hide behind them.  Traditionally European kings would keep their ‘fools’ to crack jokes and chide them and remind the court that a king too is only human.


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