OCTOBER 22 — “No further action.”
After everything that has happened recently, these are not the 3 words that Malaysia needs to hear right now .
The decision not to prosecute Mohd Khairuddin Aman Razali spits in the face of justice.
It spits in the face of the Myanmar man who was sentenced to 14 days imprisonment this week just for failing to wear his mask at a petrol station.
It spits in the faces of our frontliners who work around the clock to curb the pandemic, only to be reassured with the cold, hard truth that their work may simply be undone by people in the right positions of power.
It spits in the face of every Malaysian citizen that had to quarantine themselves at home or hotels, playing their part to help curb the spread of the pandemic.
The massive amounts of spit directed at our faces can't wash off the fact that our minister who publicly admitted that he avoided undergoing quarantine gets to walk away with a RM 1,000 compound, a sum that appears to be a mere slap on the wrist for a Minister with his salary.
In any other country which prides itself in upholding the rule of law, the minister would have swallowed his pride and resigned by now.
Yes, he donated 4 months of his salary to a Covid-19 fund but a fine of more than RM2,000 would have disqualified him from being a Member of Parliament. The donation is a little too convenient in my opinion. With the No Further Action decision, would he now be given a refund?
The fact that investigations have been classified as no further action for the lame duck reason that the quarantine form was not issued against the minister is infuriating.
Who was the authorised officer that was in charge of issuing the form? Will there be action taken against them?
The Attorney General's Chambers must come forward with a proper explanation regarding this decision and it better be a good one.
If the minister and National Security Council declared that all returnees to Malaysia during that time must undergo quarantine, is it necessary for the quarantine form to still be issued by the authorised officer who derives his/her power from the minister?
I hope the answer is in the negative because if not, I can just return to Malaysia from abroad and run home before they get my particulars to issue the form at the airport.
Mohd Khairuddin Aman Razali must resign and if he doesn't then we should take it as a clear signal that we don't have to comply with the confusing and contradictory SOPs either.
Public faith in the criminal justice system is essential and it is the commodity upon which the state derives its power to deal punishment. Without public legitimacy, the system becomes a farce and while I don't condone prosecutorial decisions following public sentiment, in scenarios like this, it is quite clear that there are two tiers of justice in Malaysia.
These politicians and MOH officials must be held accountable and I fear that this incident may be the straw that breaks the camel's back.
* Goh Cia Yee is a criminal lawyer.
** This is the personal opinion of the writer(s) or organisation(s) and does not necessarily represent the views of Malay Mail.