If you do the crime, you must do the time

Opinion  |  R Nadeswaran
Published:  |  Modified:

COMMENT | When I was much younger than Pekan MP Najib Abdul Razak’s daughter, Nooryana Najwa, I was seated in one of the clusters of creaky wooden buildings along Jalan Duta which was the Magistrate’s Court.

A lady clad in a baju kurung sobbed after being jailed for two years for stealing jewellery from her employer.

I have watched several jaga kereta being brought in handcuffs to be charged. Their offence? Not producing their identity cards when requested by a policeman. The sentence was a fine of RM25 (big money at that time) or two weeks after pleading guilty. Guess which route they opted for?

Later, when “promoted” to cover the Sessions Courts, I listened to lies on oath, pleas in mitigation and other utterances which would sometimes tug your heart. The felons - robbers, rapists, thieves and extortionists – some of whom were sweet-talkers would try to talk themselves out of trouble.

There was no one shedding a tear for them except in some cases, an elderly woman hoping her wayward son would be given a chance to turn over a new leaf.

Much later, I sat stone-faced as one inspector Saderi Abdul Samat, a convicted murderer (incidentally the man who prosecuted him was Mohd Shafee Abdullah) had his last visitors before he was hanged the following morning at the Pudu Prison.

While the father, mother and son were locked in embrace and tears, I sat recording those final moments in my mind for the Malay Mail.

On Wednesday, tears flowed outside the court complex in Jalan Duta after Rosmah Mansor was charged with 17 counts of money laundering and avoiding tax.

Tears came not from her parents or their family but from one Ramesh Rao...

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