Malaysiakini Letter

Ode to the Justices

Zaid Ibrahim  |  Published:  |  Modified:

Living in this sick country is hard:
The air is thicker, breathing is getting harder,
The Stench of tyranny is everywhere.

Thaqif has just died. They said his face was calm and serene.
That’s how they hide the horror of their actions -
Everyone in authority says, “leave it to the police”.

“There is nothing wrong with religious schools,” they say,
“Nothing wrong with the Religious Department,
“Men of God can do no wrong.”
Their remorse is visible, but no one takes responsibility.

In this moment of grave sorrow
There comes a light from an unexpected source:
Five Justices did the unthinkable.
They declared the constitution safe and unshakeable.
They embraced and defended the basic structure:

We have separation of powers,
We have an independent Judiciary
We have hope in this moment of darkness.

Thank you, Zainun Ali, Zulkefli Ahmad Makinudin, Hasan Lah, Abu Samah Nordin, Zaharah Ibrahim.

You have done something for posterity.
You have done something precious for the country.
You did what so many of your colleagues were afraid of doing for so many years.

Your decision will make it easier for others on the Bench -
Easier for them to show courage and conviction in the days to come.
There will always be lambs whose life’s ambition is to appease the powerful,
But you have done your part.


ZAID IBRAHIM is a former minister. This article first appeared on his blog.

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