No provision exempts anyone from the rule of law

    (Updated )
    Dr Mahathir Mohamad  |  news

    COMMENT | Among the most important objectives of Pakatan Harapan when it was struggling to overthrow the kleptocratic government of former premier Najib Abdul Razak was the restoration of the rule of law. 

    Najib had ignored the law when it suited him. In fact, the laws were abused in order to oppress the people. Instead of protecting the people, the laws exposed the people to unknown but real fears.

    The basic law of Malaysia is the Federal Constitution. It is a comprehensive body of laws which determines the legal structure of Malaysia from the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong to the rulers of the states, to the federal and state governments and the bodies empowered to rule and enforce.

    All other laws are derived from the constitution. No law which in any way negates the constitution may be promulgated.

    The rule of law applies to everyone from the rulers to the prime minister and ministers, to the civil servants and ordinary citizens.

    There is no provision which exempts anyone from the rule of law. For the rulers there is a special court, but the laws are the same as the laws applicable to ordinary citizens. The rulers too must respect the laws.

    'Disturbing to see blatant breaches'

    It is disturbing to see blatant breaches of the law being perpetrated in the mistaken belief that immunity has somehow been accorded.

    We had agreed that Malaysia accepts democracy, i.e., rule of the people by the people, and for the people. This by common consent takes the form of a parliamentary democracy with a constitutional monarchy at state and federal levels.

    Towards this end, the constitution and law at different levels have been promulgated. Unfortunately, certain breaches of the laws have been committed without action being taken by the law enforcement agencies. 

    In other words, the rule of law has been ignored.

    The result is predictable. The citizens suffer from injustices. Business cannot be done properly. Property has been seized. Unusual and illegal actions have been perpetrated.

    This being so, public complaints against such actions are legitimate and do not breach any law. They will not be considered as sedition in any way. They will be regarded as free speech. Citizens can make reports on these matters or openly speak about them.

    The Harapan government will uphold the law and the rights of the citizens.

    The rule of law will be upheld.

    DR MAHATHIR MOHAMAD is the prime minister. The above article first appeared in his blog

    The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.

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