LETTER

Nazri, lawyers motives dont matter

Wong Fook Meng

Published
Modified 29 Jan 2008, 10:21 am

I refer to the Malaysiakini report ( Nazri: They're all crazy lawyers ) which quoted Nazri Aziz as branding the lawyers who took part in the 'Walk of Justice' as crazy. For the record, I am a young 'crazy' lawyer who took part in the said march to the Prime Minister's Office.

With the greatest of respect to the said de facto law minister, I think he has yet again fired the salvo at the wrong target. I cannot fathom why he keeps questioning the motives of the lawyers who took part in the march - alleging that we are like an opposition party, that we can't get along with the chief justice, and now that we are mentally deficient.

The fallacy of Nazri's stance is this: you cannot refute a position by showing, even correctly, the motivation or psychological state of the other person. Motives have nothing to do with whether what a person said is the truth or not. For example, the whistleblower who released the infamous video clip may have noble intentions or some crooked motivations for his action. But his motives are not relevant in determining the authenticity of the clip!

Likewise, the 'crazy' lawyers who turned up in Putrajaya two weeks ago may have all sorts of motivation for taking part in the march: a genuine passion for justice, an escape from the humdrum of office work, a reunion with old friends, a craving to stand in the rain. Whatever our motivations are, they don't matter! What matters most is to seriously consider the merits of the memorandums presented by the Bar to the prime minister.

It is easy to fault lawyers' motives instead of engaging in a reasoned discussion on the state of the judiciary. It is easy to dismiss the whole bunch of lawyers as crazy and ignore our arguments for a royal commission of inquiry.

Nazri must remember that the axe cuts both ways. The public may also question the motivation of strenuously defending the judiciary and resisting the setting up of a royal commission of inquiry. Truth must always be open to intense scrutiny. If the persons implicated in the video clip has nothing to hide, then there is nothing to fear.

As a matter of fact, the more intense the scrutiny, the better it will be for them as they will be fully exonerated by the process of a through investigation. Surely, the demands of justice is such that the tribunal appointed to investigate the matter must be given all necessary powers to get to the bottom of things. The public may also question the motivations of people who keep objecting to the setting up of a royal commission of inquiry.

I like to end by wishing Nazri a 'Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri and Maaf Zahir dan Batin'. I hope the Bar and the de facto minister can be friends and work together for the betterment of the judiciary. And, true friends don't resort to name calling and judging of motives.

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