Ambiga to Zahid: Welcome to new Malaysia where rule of law prevails

Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan chided Barisan Nasional (BN) President Datuk Seri Zahid Hamidi for his racially charged comments on a recent court decision to acquit a driver over an accident which killed eight teenage cyclists two years ago. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri
Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan chided Barisan Nasional (BN) President Datuk Seri Zahid Hamidi for his racially charged comments on a recent court decision to acquit a driver over an accident which killed eight teenage cyclists two years ago. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 7 — Lawyer Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan chided Barisan Nasional (BN) President Datuk Seri Zahid Hamidi for his racially charged comments on a recent court decision to acquit a driver over an accident which killed eight teenage cyclists two years ago.

The former Malaysian Bar president told Zahid the law in a respectable country does not heed a person’s race or creed and that the facts and the rule of law matters and not who you are.

“I will say to Zahid: Welcome to Malaysia where the rule of law prevails, not race,” Ambiga told Malaysiakini.

Zahid had made remarks regarding the case where Magistrate Judge Siti Hajar Ali made the decision that Sam Ke Ting, the driver of the car, was not guilty of reckless driving and released her.

Many took to social media to criticise Siti and the backlash became racial. Ambiga defended Siti and said she had the courage to make the right decision and did so in accordance with the law.

“The disease of expecting judgments to be handed down on the basis of race must not be allowed to take root.

“The prosecution may appeal if they wish and the legal process will again take its course in the appellate courts. Whether the magistrate is right or wrong will be decided on the appeal,” said Ambiga.

“This is how an independent judiciary and justice system works.

“This is not to say for one minute that the public does not sympathise with the families of those who died. But the law, which does not discriminate on racial grounds, must be allowed to take its course,” she told Malaysiakini.

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