Handcuffed and in orange MACC lock-up uniform for a mere RM2,583 but …

AT a glance, one would be made to wonder how distasteful this can be? Isn’t it a sheer legal absurdity to subject or to inflict embarrassment of the highest degree on the woman suspect when we know of other high-profile suspects who are escorted to court in a much more dignified manner (till one wouldn’t be able to tell if they are culprits to the crime that they have committed either)?

Handcuffed and clad in an orange lock-up uniform for allegedly making a false claim of RM 2,583 was why this Tamil school headmistress was brought to the Johor Baru Magistrate court recently.

On Thursday (Sept 29), the 57-year-old woman who was represented by lawyer K. Bharathi was remanded for one day by magistrate Tiffany Chin Phin Yuan under Section 18 of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Act 2009 to facilitate further investigation.

Nothing wrong with that except the irony of the ‘countless’ politicians – some with their spouses as accomplices – who robbed and impoverished our beloved motherland for a sum which can run to billions of ringgit yet they make their appearance in court in their suites (or fashionable dresses), not handcuffed, surrounded by bodyguards – and not to mention flanked by the best so-called criminal lawyers in this land!

SOME EXCEPTIONS: Former Tabung Haji chairman Datuk Seri Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim (top) and Parti Warisan Sabah president Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal

According to The Star, the headmistress was arrested at the Johor Baru MACC office on Wednesday (Sept 28) after giving her statement.

It was learnt that the suspect had made false claims for the supply of food, drinks and other goods needed for a school programme. Apparently, the programme never took place and the items were never delivered to the school.

This is not about condoning that what the school principal did was right for even she can be held accountable for making false claim for a sum as little as RM1.

But it really makes Malaysians wonder if there should be a uniform ruling on all criminal suspects regardless if they are politicians, business tycoons or just a headmistress or even a single mother who has to resort to stealing a tin of Milo to feed her starving children.

It is learnt that the MACC uses orange shirts for their detainees so that accused persons detained by the anti-graft agency can be differentiated from detainees by other enforcement agencies.

“The wearing of orange shirts for detainees is managed by the MACC Security Division subject to the MACC Act 2009 apart from also distinguishing those detained by other agencies,” explained MACC chief commissioner Tan Sri Azam Baki during an interview entitled ‘MACC Empowerment and Anti-Corruption Efforts’ on radio MACC.fm on Oct 9, 2020.

He went on to mention that investigating officers have the discretion over whether detainees are to clad the orange shirt.

“It also depends on the case because there are cases where the detainees need to wear the orange shirt and some that do not require them to do so,” he noted, stressing that wearing orange clothes is also to ensure the safety of detainees and MACC officers.

Well, to quote the holy Quran, “The life of this world is only the enjoyment of deception” (Quran 3:185). – Oct 2, 2022


Main pic credit: The Star

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