Speakers' Corner: Occasional contributions from readers, which do not necessarily reflect the views of Sarawak Report but may be published at the discretion of the site.

The Wheels Of Justice

The wheels of justice are proverbially said to “ grind exceeding slow but exceeding small”. That aphorism might have been constructed with the Malaysian court system in mind even though it long pre-dates it.

A prominent instance of this lethargy can be seen in the matter of the appeal lodged with the Court of Appeal by convicted mega criminal Najib. The extensive judgment of the High Court has been public property for quite long enough for even the slowest of lawyers to cobble together the material for an appeal and this is a matter of the gravest public interest and concern. A criminal Prime Minister? What greater concern can there be about the mechanism of government in Malaysia?

Apparently the legal requirement to lodge any appeal within the stipulated time has been complied with leaving the matter in the hands of the Court. Covid cannot be pleaded as an excuse for not hearing appeals which can, if necessary, be held in disease defeating circumstances.

Why then this delay on the part of a publicly funded body? Can there be any connection to those provisions in the law that allow convicted criminals to remain in the Legislative Assembly until their appeals are heard? If so all the more reason in the public interest, if not that of PM8 and Azmin, to have the appeal heard and determined as soon as possible. And that can be any day now since the Court of Appeal is hardly overburdened with work. Further what can have more public importance than resolving any doubt about the conviction and sentence of mega crook Najib Razak? PN’s one seat majority?

If the public are to retain confidence in the justice system it should deal with, and be seen publicly to deal with, the appeal without further delay; or leave its reputation in the street.

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