Why only highlight abuse when it involves VIPs?

By TK Chua

Sometimes I think that we are a nation of confused people. We routinely accept the wrongdoings of enforcement agencies but only make noise when VIPs are involved.

We know investigation procedures are not perfect. We made noise when Anwar Ibrahim suffered a black eye 20 years ago. Since then, have we ever made any drastic change or monitored the strict adherence to procedures?

Now, Najib Razak and Rosmah Mansor have been sleep-deprived for a couple of nights. Probably some of their chocolates have been stolen from the fridge. We made a hue and cry, probably by those who were genuinely concerned with the “abuse”. But we cannot rule out that some are making noise just to show how fair-minded and liberal they are.

When VIPs are involved, we suddenly wake up from our slumber and condemn the police and other enforcement authorities for violating privacy, decency and fairness.

Have we forgotten that the police and other enforcement authorities are supposed to exercise the same standards and procedures regardless of the status and personalities involved?

I really wish that those who complained of intrusive and unfair investigation procedures being perpetrated and perpetuated now, would tell that to Teoh Beng Hock’s family and others who were not as “fortunate” as those who only suffered a black eye or had their chocolates stolen.

As a nation, it is about time we look at issues confronting us from the right perspective. We can never be a nation at peace with itself if undue privileges, double standards and the selective highlighting of abuse are allowed to continue.

When an ordinary citizen suffers abuse during investigations, he or she should get the same attention by our MPs, ministers and NGOs – the same attention as a former VIP who is being investigated.

Right now there are probably many ordinary citizens committing lesser crimes but suffering from the same kind of abusive investigations that we may not even know about.

It is about time we get investigation procedures right. It is about time to monitor the adherence to procedures diligently, not just when VIPs or former VIPs are involved.

TK Chua is an FMT reader.

The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of FMT.