When fairness and justice isn’t seen, trouble starts to fester


Mohamed Bouazizi, a vegetable seller, set himself alight on December 17, 2010 

(The Malaysian Insider) – The danger is when all avenues seem to be shut and the system is rigged of those in power and their supporters, Malaysia’s young may grow disillusioned and end up believing that working within the system cannot deliver the cleaner and more equitable country they want.

Less than three years ago, Tunisian fruit vendor Mohammed Bouazizi set himself on fire to protest the corruption and abuse of power in the Mediterranean town of Sidi Bouzid.

That flame would spark the Arab Spring that began in north Africa – Tunisia and Egypt – before going to the Arab world.

In Malaysia, the government has been warning against those who would like to start an Arab Spring, pointing out that the country has no high unemployment, business is thriving with many federal projects and cash aid is at hand.

But is that enough? People become radicals or choose to go outside the system to vent their anger and frustration when they lose hope in the ability of that system to provide fairness and justice.

They lose hope – in elections, the court system, the Attorney-General and ultimately, they believe that the rules are stacked up against any hope of meaningful change.

The people feel the leadership’s moral compass is warped, that there is no sense of what is right or wrong. The feeling of being let down simmers and could explode in a flash as the Tunisian fruit vendor did in December 2010.

So while the powers that be in the country’s administrative capital of Putrajaya may be thrilled that the courts are dismissing election petitions without hearing the merits of the case and levying world record costs, for others it is another failure of the system to deliver fairness and justice.

Similarly, when there is a blatant disregard for fair play and a level playing field in meting out punishment, this also becomes another example of where the system fails to meet the aspiration of the average Malaysian.

The authorities act against young bloggers and a Muslim dog trainer for their actions in the social media but not against politicians whose threats rent the country’s fabric of harmony and unity.

Read more at: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/when-fairness-and-justice-isnt-seen-trouble-starts-to-fester