Disparity in the justice system?

istana-kehakiman-malaysia-putrajaya-mahkamah-courtBy Clement Stanley

In a report carried by FMT on 25 July, Chin Kok Wah a prominent Penang businessman, was fined a mere RM 1000 after he pleaded guilty to voluntarily causing hurt to a security guard at a luxury condominium in Jelutong, Penang under Section 323 of the Penal Code which carries a maximum one-year jail sentence and a fine up to RM 2000 or both upon conviction. Chin paid the fine.

Chin who is a resident of the condominium had hit guard Ramaraj with the steel cutter which Chin had been using to remove a wheel clamp on his luxury vehicle. He further attempted to snatch the handphone from the guard. Not content with that Chin, returned to the lobby of the condominium to continue berating and assaulting the guard whose only offence was to video record Chin’s actions.

On the same day in Kuala Lumpur, a Ugandan woman was sentenced to 3 years’ jail by the Magistrate’s Court for offering sex services to policeman Rohaizad Yahya in Bukit Bintang. Magistrate Mahuyudin Mohammad Som handed down the sentence to Husinah Namakula who pleaded guilty to the charge.

In situations like this our justice system leaves much to be desired and to the ordinary man on the street it is at best incomprehensible. No one in his right frame of mind can ever fathom or accept the disparity in the sentence meted out to Chin and Husinah. How can anyone accept that the crime committed by Husinah was far worse than the crime committed by Chin? In offering sex services to the police corporal was anyone physically injured? Was there force or assault used by Husinah in this crime? At its worst, only pride was injured.

In contrast, you have a prominent businessman who caused physical injury to a guard who was only doing his duty and he is let off with a miserable fine of RM1000 and not even the maximum fine of RM 2000 or a custodial sentence.

Hasn’t our system of justice gone horribly wrong in this instance? Or are we living up to the much quoted belief that justice is only for the poor?

Surely, there has to be a fairer and better way of meting out justice so that there is no discrimination between rich and poor, between those have and those have not and between those who cause bodily harm and those that do not.

Given a choice, many of us would rather be in the shoes of Chin and not in the shoes of Husinah.

Clement Stanley is an FMT reader.

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