Do we demand justice only when it serves us?

Just recently, Loretto Padua Jr, the nominated assemblyman in Sabah and the secretary-general of Parti Warisan Sabah which now controls the state government, slammed Sabah police commissioner Ramli Din for not arresting the unwell former chief minister, Musa Aman, who has returned to Sabah.

Federal de facto law minister Liew Vui Kiong, also a Sabahan, has brayed for Musa’s blood as well.

Even the Sabah immigration director was given a tongue-lashing by Loretto for failing to take action against Musa.

Loretto claimed that justice was not being served and Liew said the public was demanding answers from the police and immigration chief.

But before we go any further, was the Aug 27 gathering of Warisan supporters shouting “Tangkap Musa” at the new High Court legal or illegal?

Going back to November 2014, when the opposition SAPP held a peaceful gathering to demand the release of the RCI findings on the issue of illegal immigrants, the leaders were hauled up by the police to have their statements recorded.

We do not know yet if the police will, in fact, haul up the leaders of the “Tangkap Musa” gathering at the new court house.

But one thing is for certain: neither Loretto nor Liew has slammed the police chief for not taking any action on the leaders of this illegal gathering.

If we are talking about justice and principles, can there and should there be different strokes for different folks?

In ex parte McCarthy-R vs Sussex Justices there is an oft-quoted aphorism that “not only must justice be done, it must also be seen to be done”.

This is where our much-revered politicians are getting it horribly wrong.

Being an elected representative does not mean you have a licence to criticise selectively. If you really believe in what you stand for, you must stand by your convictions regardless of who is on the receiving end.

Not much has changed on that note in terms of justice and fair play in the 100-over days since the Pakatan Harapan and Warisan governments came into power.

MACC and police cases are being swept aside on the presumption that there is “insufficient evidence” of corrupt practices.

Liew said this in the senate when queried about the RM1.5 billion scandal involving the rural and regional development ministry which was headed by Shafie Apdal at that time.

Whether we like it or not, someone has to answer for this.

RM1.5 billion is no small change and it is the taxpayers’ money. If the government can trace the missing 1MDB funds with such thoroughness and hold the people behind it responsible, can we not do the same for this RM1.5 billion?

After all, to quote Liew, “the people are demanding answers”.

Clement Stanley is a FMT reader.

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