Are our judges blind and deaf?

By Aneesa Alphonsus, Free Malaysia Today

KUALA LUMPUR: Justice is indeed blind! Unbelievable as it may seem two recent reported court rulings have left civil society folk stumped.

Musa Ahmad, 39, accused of repeatedly raping a child received two-years’ jail and one stroke of the rotan while lap-top thief Bahardin Omar, 35 a mechanic, was slapped with a four-year jail and three strokes of the cane.

Here’s the juicy details. Musa was accused of raping an underage girl 11 times between November and December 2007 in a house at Parit Sentang Batu, near Batu Pahat in Johor.

The girl eventually gave birth to a baby boy at her house toilet in Kampung Sepah Beruang, Benutm Pontian on Sept 13, 2008.

Sessions Court judge Nu’Aman Mahmud Zahudi sentenced Musa to two years’ jail and one stroke of the cane.

Meanwhile, in another corner of Malaysia, Bahardin who broke into a house on Nov 11 last year and stole a laptop and a roll of wire was dealt a harsher blow by the magistrate’s court.

The good judge in Bahardin’s case sentenced him to four-years and three painful strokes.

Musing on “justice delivered”, activist Anderson Selvasegaram said: “The good part to this whole thing is that there actually was a court case.

“In Malaysia, there are so many rape cases that do not see justice and one of the most common reasons given is that there is a lack of evidence.

“Now, the bad thing about it is this – that he (Musa) received only two years.

“How do we rate the seriousness of a crime? When it comes to theft, criminal breach of trust, slander and so on, we can measure the amount of punishment that should be dished out.

“But when it comes to molestation and rape, how do you dish out something ‘deserving’ of the crime?”

Selvasegaram, who is with a Petaling Jaya-based children’s NGO Suka Malaysia, said quantifying the effects of rape and molest is difficult.

“Rape leaves a very permanent scar and there are very few therapeutic services available.

“To be raped or molested even once is unfathomable, but to have it happen 11 times? How deep-rooted is that?” he asks.

Suka Society is a registered children’s welfare organisation that strives to preserve the best interests of children.