The single mum who spoke for us

B Lisa Christina, if you are reading this, you can stand tall.

For anyone reading this, may you never find yourself in her shoes.

For questioning why she should be treated any differently from the other person who got off lightly with a fine of RM800 for flouting the movement control order (MCO), Lisa has shown the entire country what it feels like when you are a nobody and you are treated with no compassion or sympathy by the system.

All she did was to go down to her apartment to buy a packet drink for her child. As a single parent, Lisa did not have someone by her side who she could depend on to carry out such a need.

In doing so, she was arrested for going against MCO and initially given a 30-day jail sentence. This was subsequently overturned and substituted with a fine of RM1,000, by which time she had already spent eight days in jail.

To pay that fine, she borrowed that money from her mother. And RM1,000 is no loose change for someone who cannot afford it.

The other person, by contrast, was not in need to buy milk for her child. She was more in need to show off that she knew some VIPs.

This she did by posting her visits, along with her husband, to VIPs in Putrajaya on her social network. She must have known she was committing an offence. She did not bat an eyelid. As if to flaunt her status in life and the connections she has, she arrogantly challenged the public to lodge a police report against her.

Lisa did not seek any publicity. Her instincts as a mother superseded such a meaningless glare of the camera.

But fate conspired against her. You can feel the pain in her sharing on her Facebook account when it was revealed that the other person, who is extremely wealthy, paid a fine of only RM800. That is RM200 less than what Lisa had to pay. Lisa would not have been the only one to feel that pain and injustice.

Can anyone blame her for feeling dejected and sad? Can anyone blame her for feeling less of a human being than the other person? Can anyone blame her for feeling like a second-class citizen?

No. This is not the way justice should be meted out. Justice should not be blind. It should not differentiate one person from another. Nor should it be made use of to punish those without rich and powerful connections.

If one were to look at the circumstances of both Lisa and the other person, the former had a more pressing reason to go out. In doing so, she broke the law and paid for it. That much, she knows. But she was not defiant, boastful or arrogant.

Her sharing touched the hearts of all who read her experience. To attain that number of shares simply means she is not alone.

She can rest assured that out there, thousands are saluting her for her bravery. She dared to raise the question on everyone’s lips. Her cause will be celebrated by the silent majority.

For people like Lisa, it would be comforting to know that she made a difference. She can stand tall for she is no less than the other person. You are and always will be one brave soul.

Clement Stanley is an FMT reader.

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

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