Double standards in graft case judgments? - Justice Seeker
APRIL 14 — Let me understand this: the former senior GM of Sime Darby Engineering was found guilty of four counts of corruption totalling RM180,000 and was sentenced to 27 years jail.
The former mentri besar of Selangor was convicted of corruption involving a multi-million ringgit property and was sentenced to a year’s jail.
In both instances, the judges said that they were dishing out deterrent sentences. In Md Zaki Othman’s case, this is a really, really strong deterrent, so strong that even those who take a life are not punished as severely.
I don’t know this Sime Darby man and he was convicted because his defence was weak. He deserves to be punished and we know that in this country few people get caught for corruption. The higher up the food chain, the more protected they are.
If the authorities believe that this “stiff” sentence will persuade Malaysians that the Najib administration is serious about tackling crime, they should think again.
If anything the gaping disparity between the Sime Darby man’s sentence and Khir Toyo’s perpetuates the perception that there is one rule for Umno and one rule for the rest of us.
In his summation, the MACC prosecutor argued that the High Court judge should give the Sime Darby man a stiff sentence because he was drawing RM39,000 a month and had no business seeking any inducements.
I get that point. But by the same logic, the chief executive of the richest state in Malaysia should have been given a far more stiffer sentence than a year in jail. No?
* Justice Seeker reads The Malaysian Insider.
* This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication. The Malaysian Insider does not endorse the view unless specified.