Kashgari v Malaysia

Here is our government’s conundrum – it has lost the trust of the people by its blatant abuse of power. In the most recent case of the GOM arresting and deporting Kashgari as he was on his way out of the country, fleeing Saudi authorities to New Zealand.

Our government claimed that this was a request from Interpol. Unfortunately, Interpol has vehemently denied playing any role in this sandiwara. I wanted to believe that our police were merely following international law in assisting Interpol but the speed at which things happened made me doubt it. I should’ve known better.

Our government further showed its disdain and contempt of court when an injunction issued by the High Court was ignored by the government. Lawyers for Liberty contend it was inappropriate to send him back home because they had obtained a last-minute injunction on Sunday to stop his forced return.

Both the IGP and Home Minister’s offices have claimed that they were not aware of any such injunction and faxed copies did not arrive at their offices. Honestly, I can’t take their words seriously any more as the above denials from Interpol show. They are just not very good at spinning stories.

This is further evident with the Home Minister saying that, “I will not allow Malaysia to be seen as a safe country for terrorists and those who are wanted by their countries of origin, and also be seen as a transit county.”

Sir, might I remind you that there are rules to follow and that while I agree that we must keep Malaysia safe, we must do it with due process and respect for the law. Arrest Mr Kashgari if you need to and lock him up to keep our country safe. Then, put him through the system. There are extradition rules to be adhered to and hearing processes.

He had already entered the country legally and was subject to the laws of the country just like any other traveller who enters into our country on a tourist visa – even drug traffickers. If he has committed a crime, he has to be put through the process. We don’t even do this to drug traffickers – we still put them trough the process before we hang them.

Our country is now regarded as a pariah in the world’s eyes. People now know that the GOM cannot be trusted to follow its own laws nor to speak the truth in any matter. They aren’t even very good at spin. All they are good at is abusing due process.

The one good thing that I learned from this is that there are good judges in our country who are willing to work on weekends when necessary. Kudos to HCJ Datuk Rohana Yusof who did her duty, even while at home on a weekend.

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