Muhyiddin Yassin’s Blunder, The Habitual Method of Selective Prosecution and the Question of Double Standards
I concur with PKR supremo, Anwar Ibrahim that “the recent hullabaloo on dog trainer Maznah Mohd Yusof should not have been made into a national issue, stressing that she should have been advised, instead.”
The Opposition Leader further stated that: “Just give her advice and give her the opportunity to explain…”
Anwar also surmised that that “the issue might have been blown out of proportion as it was linked to Aidilfitri.” (See the report of Alyaah Azhar, “Dog video blown out of proportion, says Anwar”, Free Malaysia Today, August 4, 2013)
Some claimed that they were hurt, offended and shocked by the said video, but I am deeply wondering what are they feeling and what would be their answer to one specific question of the Opposition Leader:
“We keep quiet on other matters. We have a Muslim acquiring shares in San Miguel Corporation (alcohol brewery) and no one does anything about it.
“This reflects badly on what’s supposed to be our priority.”
Can I have the categorical answer of those offended Muslims, those who were shocked and those who claimed to be hurt with Maznah’s video with her dogs — with regard to this utterly shocking revelation?
In fact, this is not a revelation; a lot of our people know this case and they also knew precisely who that person that is a stock holder to the said alcohol brewery.
Is it allowed by the Quran? What is the opinion of JAIS and JAKIM with regard to this matter?
It was widely reported by various media outfits last July 30th that Muhyiddin during breaking-of-fast with children from the Anak-Anak Rumah Amal Kasih Bestari in Putrajaya stated that: “Muslims do not insult the religion of non-Muslims… But non-Muslims are insulting our religion.”
When I first read about this pronouncement from no less than the DPM of the country, it makes me very sad!
He is the second highest official of the land and he is uttering words like that that further stir racial tensions, forge not unity but more division, mistrust, distrust, fear and paranoia!
What a shame!
This is not the first time that the person under discussion has committed an act like this which in my view is unworthy of being a Minister and utterly un-Malaysian.
Who would ever forget his infamous racial statement that he is Malay first and Malaysian second?
During that time when the issue was raging, I commended Nazri (then, acting as the de facto Law Minister) who rebuked publicly Muhyiddin and people like him, when he stated courageously that: I am Malaysian first and Malay second. Do you have a problem with that, bigot?
Now, the so-called DPM has committed another act which in my view is totally idiotic and worst, supra preposterous! Such pronouncement is completely against the public interest and seditious to its very core!
It is on this great reason that I overwhelmingly concur with the Democratic Action Party’s action in lodging a police report against Muhyiddin to compel the police to probe and investigate the DPM for sedition.
As reported by Anisah Shukry, “DAP: Probe Muhyiddin for Sedition”, August 2nd, FMT):
“DAP wants Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin probed for sedition following his statement that non-Muslims were insulting Islam.
“The opposition party felt that since the police were quick to arrest dog trainer Maznah Mohd Yusof for allegedly wounding religious feelings, the same should be applied to Muhyiddin, who is also Umno deputy president.
“The party said the Deputy Prime Minister’s declaration that non-Muslims were insulting Islam, was offensive and had enough grounds for the police to investigate him under Section 298A of the Penal Code and the Sedition Act.”
I agree with the contention of Taman Segamat DAP branch chairman Yew Jia Haur that:
“Maznah is being investigated under the same Acts, so since she was said to be insulting the peoples religious feelings, we ask that Muhyiddin to be probed under the same Acts as well…”
If the police and the other law enforcement agency will not act on this matter, then it will refuel and further reinforce the apparent view of the people that the police are biased and engaged both on Selective Prosecution and Double Standards. I shall discuss these two concepts later!
After a couple of days, realizing perhaps that he committed an unpardonable blunder of astronomical proportion, the DPM through Bernama has issued a “clarification” with regard to the issue.
By virtue of the inescapable fact that this case is utterly impressed with public interest I beg the indulgence of the reader that I am going to post the whole report.
Bernama, On August 3rd reported that “Muhyiddin was not referring to Maznah and her dogs video clip”.
“Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin was only making a general statement and not specifically referring to the YouTube video clip entitled “Satu Hari di Hari Raya” when he issued a reminder to the people to refrain from touching on the sensitivities of the Muslim community.
“Bernama in its earlier report had said the deputy prime minister’s statement on Tuesday was referring to the video clip which showed an individual appearing to perform ritual ablutions by washing her hands and feet but then did the same to three dogs.
“Muhyiddin in his address at the breaking-of-fast with children from the Anak-Anak Rumah Amal Kasih Bestari in Putrajaya did not also specifically mention that non-Muslims had belittled and mocked Islam, as the report suggested.
“What he actually said was: “Certain parties have belittled and mocked our religion lately and hopefully it will not persist as to cause tension, as what is happening in other Islamic countries.””
Wow, it seems to me that after the damage has been done, now the DPM is engaged in a damage control mode.
The first question is: how come the Prime Minister did not rebuke and criticize his DPM? How come he did not question his DPM with regard to his intention in uttering those utterly sensitive and seditious words?
Second question: how come it took the DPM three to four days to come out with these “clarification”?
The said “clarification” stated that the DPM is not referring to Maznah and her dogs, my golly, then who the hell he is referring to?
Is he referring to Tom, Dick and Harry with their cats and squirrels?
Assuming for the sake of the ‘argument’ that was such the fact (no matter how unlikely and undeniably impossible it is), then how could it be explained that the DPM was asked specifically about Maznah, then how could he answered NOT about Maznah and her dogs?
Imagine a person who in lives in Perak, was asked his opinion about Perak; will said person reply about Johor or Kelantan?
This is against logic! It does not make sense!
Is Bernama and the DPM telling us that: the DPM were asked about A, but he answered B and the media heard C?
Good lord, the so-called “clarification”, instead of clarifying things has further confused the people!
The “clarification” also stated that the DPM was merely making a general statement. Again the question there is: he was asked specifically, pointedly on Maznah and her dogs, hence how could it be that the question was specific, but the answer is in general?
What is the point? Again, I cannot get the logic (if there is any logic at all)!
The “clarification” stated that, below is the exact words uttered by the DPM:
“Certain parties have belittled and mocked our religion lately and hopefully it will not persist as to cause tension, as what is happening in other Islamic countries.””
So, all of those media outfits has misquoted the DPM? All of them misheard the DPM’s exact words?
I do not think so!
Let us speak the truth, in my view, the DPM’s changing of his words and softening of his tenor is his sordid and pathetic attempt to do damage control after he bungled and bungled he did at its worst form!
Now, he is denying that he referred to the video clip when his guilt is very clear to all and as clear as the clear sky.
How could you deny something that came out directly from your mouth? This is a perfect example of “straight from the horse’s mouth” and the “fish being caught from one’s mouth”.
Nonetheless, the DPM’s act of retracting and denying his statement is a grave insult to the common sense and intelligence of the people as a whole!
I disagree with the Chief Minister of Penang in his call to punish those media agencies “for falsely reporting that Muhyiddin accused non-Muslims for mocking Islam.”
Question to the Chief Minister
Sir: how could those media agencies be able to report a false narration of the facts when in fact, substantially all of them had the same quotation verbatim from the DPM? Are you telling us that all of them were wrong?
If they were wrong, then why it took a couple of days for the DPM to right this so-called ‘wrong’?
Further, you want the media to be punished for telling the people the truth?
With all due respect, Sir, for the first time, I cannot understand your stand and I am questioning your decision. By the way, are you aware that some of your party-mates had already lodged a police report to the DPM?
The police must probe the DPM and they must do so promptly.
The Question of Selective Prosecution
Wikipedia defines Selective Prosecution as:
“In jurisprudence, selective prosecution is a procedural defense in which a defendant argues that he should not be held criminally liable for breaking the law, as the criminal justice system discriminated against him by choosing to prosecute. In a claim of selective prosecution, a defendant essentially argues that it is irrelevant whether he is guilty of violating a law, but that the fact of being prosecuted is based upon forbidden reasons. Such a claim might, for example, entail an argument that persons of different age, race, religion, or gender, were engaged in the same illegal actions for which the defendant is being tried and were not prosecuted, and that the defendant is only being prosecuted because of a bias.”
In short, Selective Prosecution is committed the moment the powers that be is engaged on bias and discrimination based on age, sex, gender, race and religion of the supposed defendant or accused.
Selective Prosecution is not allowed by most constitutions of the universal civilized world! Such vicious method run counters to the inherent constitutional right of the citizens.
Selective Prosecution and Double Standard in a sense are intimately related. Nonetheless, both of them are considered unconstitutional!
The Question of Double Standard
Again to quote Wikipedia,
“Double standard can therefore be described as a biased or morally unfair application of the principle that all are equal in their freedoms. Such double standards are seen as unjustified because they violate a basic maxim of modern legal jurisprudence: that all parties should stand equal before the law.
“Double standards also violate the principle of justice known as impartiality, which is based on the assumption that the same standards should be applied to all people, without regard to subjective bias or favoritism based on social class, rank, ethnicity, gender, religion, sexual orientation, age or other distinctions.”
All parties are equal before the law
This modern legal jurisprudence is base on the legal principle that: no one is above the law in the same vein that no one is underneath it. The law applies to all, otherwise none at all.
All individuals appearing before the courts are deemed equal before the eyes of the law, by virtue of the fact that the aim of the law is to dispense justice in an egalitarian and fair manner. That is precisely the very reason why Lady Justice is blind! Meaning, she is not biased but rather fair, just and objective!
Double Standard is against the legal principle of Impartiality
Impartiality refers squarely to the fairness and objectivity not only of the law but also of the court, the judge and/or the magistrate hearing the case.
The judge is mandated by the law to render and dispense justice without subjecting and resorting to subjective bias and favoritism such as referring to the accused or defendant’s cultural background, economic status, gender, sex, race, religion and other unworthy social distinctions.
Hence, base on the foregoing discussion, the police by virtue of their social vow to the public and by reason of public interest must probe and investigate the DPM, without fear and favor and without bias and favoritism!
They must show to the whole nation and so as the entire world that justice is not an empty phrase in Malaysia and that Selective Prosecution and Double Standard is not being practiced wantonly, habitually and arbitrarily in the country at the expense of the people with prejudice and detriment to their inherent constitutional right!
Jose Mario Dolor De Vega
Polytechnic University of the Philippines
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