Either you prosecute all suspected criminals or you don’t prosecute at all, is the way to go?

umar mukhtar

Umar Mukhtar

Selective prosecution is an abuse of power when that power is used only against certain parties, usually your detractors. It is done in bad faith because it is not done to truly uphold the law but to put down a selected group. Inevitably some are trumped up charges like Dr. Mahathir Mohamed’s persecution of Anwar Ibrahim for sodomy, thus a grave injustice is committed in the name of justice.

How do we avoid that? Is there a way to determine that all criminal acts are to be prosecuted, with no exceptions by choice or default? Is one way to avoid selective prosecution is to not prosecute anybody at all? Surely not! Inevitably it boils down to discretion. A loaded word that implies priority in a circumstance of limited resources.

Again it can be abused to only focus on a certain kind of crime and by only a certain group of people. That is why motorcyclists can run traffic lights with impunity endangering other people’s lives, while migrant workers get stopped every day and asked for documents? Could it be that these illegals always put aside RM2 in their wallets to facilitate getting to work on time? After all, RM2 times fifty illegals equals to RM100 per day.

And therefore does it mean that if the enforcement against corruption is so lax, then to be fair to everybody, nobody should be prosecuted for it? So is it better to be a failed state than a rogue state? It is submitted that both are to be avoided, so favouring one indulgence over the other seems unnecessary. To the minds of some of us the powers-that-be may very well be guilty of maligning the administration of justice, but it does not negate guilt if proven.

So at the end of the day, the proof of the pudding is in the eating. If the courts of justice are not able to decide fairly either way on the evidence adduced, then we are truly in deep shit. The innocent has been dragged through the courts, or the guilty has been set free? The former by mala fide prosecution, the latter by skewed justice?

What about those would-be cases where evidence are suppressed wilfully such that prosecution somehow couldn’t take place? Is that the fault of the prosecutor or the doings of a conspiracy bigger than the prosecutor? There’s a limit to what a prosecutor can get away with even though he may be indebted to the powers-that-be so as to attempt to ignore prosecuting.

I guess RM50 billion ringgit is a humongous sum compared RM3 million ringgit, but that may not be the criteria of priority that is applied by the powers-that-be. Corruption is nevertheless corruption and many of us ordinary folks are not willing to see one tolerated simply because the other seems to get off scot-free. An advantage to the powers-that-be. Probably.

The way to avoid all the above queries is obviously not to be involved in any corrupt practices at all. Especially if you in a position of trust. The thing is to avoid situations of a conflict of interest. Whatever the excuses given will always appear lame especially after the Khir Toyo’s case. Let’s hope the courts of justice will decide fairly.

If they don’t, our public institutions will have failed us and the last I know, the one who tried so hard to destroy our public institutions, Mahathir, is the champion of the current fight for purported justice. What credibility! He used to just circumvent the courts altogether!

The defence should appoint him a consultant on how selective prosecution is done. And while we are at it maybe we can appeal to the Conference Of Rulers about our predicament even though Mahathir was the one instrumental in turning them into rubber stamps, among his other transgressions, that is.