PETALING JAYA: Outspoken human rights lawyer Siti Kasim has hit out at diehard supporters of the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government for rejoicing at the news of former prime minister Najib Razak’s arrest yesterday, saying it went against all human values.
Quoting verses from the Bible, Siti said such expressions of joy amounted to Schadenfreude, which means the experience of joy in witnessing the humiliation of another person.
“Vengeance belongs to God. We are not to return a wrong for a wrong, nor are we to rejoice if the Lord lets us see when those who have done us wrong, get what they deserve,” she wrote on Facebook, hours after Najib was picked up by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).
“No one’s misfortune should bring us pleasure. We should not find joy in any one’s sorrow,” wrote Siti.
Her post was however criticised by PH supporters, many of them saying their celebration over Najib’s arrest was justified.
“This has nothing to do with vengeance. This has everything to do with the rule of law,” said Bahma Sivasubramaniam, to which Siti shot back: “You guys are displaying exactly what vengeance is. And you guys showed how evil our society still is.”
Najib was today charged with four counts of criminal breach of trust and abuse of power, over some RM42 million in his private bank account.
He has pleaded not guilty to the charges. The High Court which confiscated his passport, also set a bail of RM1 million.
Siti denied that her plea to the public to avoid rejoicing over Najib’s misfortune amounted to condoning his alleged misdeeds.
“If you don’t understand what I meant then our humanity is to be questioned,” she said.
There were mixed reactions to news of Najib’s arrest yesterday.
DAP’s Tony Pua responded to a reporter by sending a string of “party” emoticons, suggesting he was celebrating the arrest.
Others were more cautious, and reminded the authorities to ensure Najib was treated with dignity and accorded his legal rights.
Siti said she was shocked to see “the gloating and jubilance and the OTT [over the top] attitude on social media.
“It is a misfortune to him although the misfortune is something he may have brought upon himself. He may have created these misfortunes, ie, to be facing the law and perhaps spending a long time in prison, but that does not mean we can cheer and shout of satisfaction when he is going through these hard times.
“He may be the nastiest person on earth but I won’t return the satisfaction that I become just like him,” said Siti.
“If you disagree with me, that is your prerogative. There’s no need to throw accusations. [Expletive] if you don’t like my stand.”