One Court, Two Systems?

We have heard of one country, two systems. But one court, two systems? Only in Malaysia, they’ll say.

How could and why should AG Tommy Thomas interfere with the finding of the Ipoh Magistrate Court which recognised that an offence of sexual abuse had been committed against a minor at a tahfiz school? This meddling into court proceedings brings the credibility and independence of the AG and the AG’s Chambers into disrepute. He should refer to his own book, Abuse of Power and refrain from intervening in court cases.

Magistrate Mohammad Afifi Mohammad Deen dismissed the sexual violation case despite having recognised barely two months earlier that the sexual offence did occur, after the court was provided with a letter from the Perak State Legal Adviser’s Office detailing a directive by AG Tommy Thomas written under Article 145(3) of the Federal Constitution – a provision which empowers the AG with the discretion to discontinue any proceeding for an offence (The Malay Mail Online, 14 Oct 2019).

Why did AG Tommy utilise this discretionary power that he is bestowed with? This action makes a mockery of the magistrate court’s finding in addition to the criminal investigations by the police and efforts by public prosecutors. It sends a wrong message that paedophiles can get away with their sexploitations.

Were political considerations the thrust for AG Tommy to issue the directive in view of survey findings that Pakatan Harapan will very likely fail to defend the Tanjung Piai parliamentary constituency?

AG Tommy is urged to provide solid explanations as to why he ordered the case to be dropped. We hope he can comprehend the humiliation and emotional trauma that will haunt a sexually violated minor for the rest of his life. It is not only the child who afflicted but the parents too. It has been reported that the victim, who is now 13, is still undergoing psychiatric therapy at the Hospital Bahagia in Tanjung Rambutan to overcome his trauma.

The AG is reminded to uphold justice, protection of victims and not perpetrators, especially in this debauched case of sexual crimes against pre-teens. “Restoring public trust in the judicial and legal institutions” was Promise 19 of Manifesto Harapan. Sadly and more worrisome, AG Tommy has stomped on reforms of legal institutions and justice.

But ultimately, the one who suffers…, is the innocent child who so young and tender, has to endure double whammy… at the hands of the perpetrators who had consistently sexually brutalised him, and now worse – the key authorities, the legal institutions whom he, his parents and the rakyat had trusted and counted on to seek justice, are apathetic and oblivious to the heinous crimes by paedophiles targeting young boys who have not even broken their voices.

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