…the new Malaysian mantra.
Apparently the police need to take you in, handcuff you, place you in a jail cell with inhumane conditions, ask you to sleep on a cement slab, disrupt your sleep, mock you and hope for some type of confession – if they think you might be a threat.
The concept of threat has been stretched to a point the word encapsulates even things like going out on a Sunday morning to pick your newspaper.
Maybe you are going out of the house to grab the paper, but how can we be sure that on the way you might not stab the milk man with your slippers. Possible. Or when you reach the paper, you might slip and fall and hurt yourself – so we’ll save you the danger of falling by placing you in a jail cell.
And oh-oh what about picking the paper and reading it upside down – you might be challenging basic reading techniques and ‘threaten’ a generation of young innocent pre-schoolers into reading the wrong way too.
Anything is possible, and until we can rule it out – why not lock you up first?
The letter of the law vs the spirit of the law
Umno and its police are arguing constantly that they are acting within the scope of power. It is a strange thing, power.
Laws are made in regards to a context. However context overwhelms the ability of words to explain them – so laws are written with clarity, measurability and specifics attached to them, with a regard to those deciphering it applying reason to their application.
Sedition laws are there because sedition is possible – but sedition is not widespread. The law is there to deal with it, in the event it occurs. Those who make charges are taught over and over in law school on interpretation and on legal principles and philosophy.
Prosecutors have all these laws like cool weapons on a superhero – but they use it judiciously, as needed – not do and then find a justification.
The truth is, a half smart person will always be able to find a legal allowance for any action they carry.
The higher ideal, the spirit of the law cannot be diminished by someone bent on proffering only the letters of that law.
The humble truth is, a Selangor councillor who was on the verge of going home to sleep was dragged to a jail cell – to stay for a week. If you think the jail cells you see in American TV are rough, you don’t want to see how are cells are like.
Malaysian cells are a about degradation of a person’s sense of worth and pride. They are cesspools constructed to celebrate the cruelty of those who consigned them there.
And they all experienced that for?
Some point soon, we all have to realise that when our system puts people away for their political belief, we the people are putting this people away for their political belief.
Government act on our behalf. We are the ones who put Teresa Kok and the rest in jail. The laws represent us.
Tomorrow when I wake up, I will be careful when I walk out of the house. Who knows what kind of ‘threat’ I pose to others, and even to myself.