Statutory rape cases’ verdicts cause discontent among the people Dr. Cheah Soon Hai: Judiciary system should be fair and consistent Press statement by Gerakan Central Committee Member Dr. Cheah Soon Hai

In referring to the recent court verdicts handed down on national bowler Nor Afizal and Penang electrician Chuah Guan Jiu that spared them the jail sentence for having sex with an underage girl, Gerakan Central Committee Member, Dr. Cheah Soon Hai is regretful over the judgement. Dr. Cheah said that the case has generated public attention and discontent as well as doubts over the justice and fairness of the judgment.

“Although the Court of Appeal president has explained in detail over the judgment as he pointed out that the accused has a promising future ahead and therefore was given a suspended sentence, but nonetheless the accused is still in fact convicted of the offence and the crime is recorded. However, such an explanation will only stir up more discontent among the people as they feel that the sacrosanct judiciary system has multiple standards. Does the judgment signify that national athletes as long as they are deemed to have ‘a promising future’ will easily escape the jail sentence even if they have committed a crime? This is completely a wrong an unhealthy example!” Dr. Cheah said in a statement.

Dr. Cheah who is also the Gerakan Kedah State Chairman and ADUN of Derga in Kedah pointed out that the way the court handed down judgment in this case was somehow appeared to be a lack of justice and fairness in the eyes of the people. The leniency the court showed on some crime offenders with a special ‘halo’, is it fair for the victims? How possible to convince the public?

Dr. Cheah Soon Hai stressed that the sacred spirit behind the law is that everyone is equal before the law, whoever commits the crime should bear the consequences and accept punishment.

“Similarly, the court also showed its discrepancy with multiple standards in some cases such as snatch theft, scratch tickets, stealing and many more, at times light sentence was given out; while the heavy sentence was given out to those who showed disrespect towards the police. All of these cases are leading the people to feel the injustice and have lost their confidence towards the country judiciary system. In order to restore the people’s confidence towards the justice and fairness of the judiciary system, the judiciary branch should rediscover its coordination as well as to be fair and consistent with its stand and judgment,” said Dr. Cheah.

Dr. Cheah said that the court should hand down fair judgment and then only the people will be convinced. While the judiciary system should be fair and equal, then only it will avoid causing the public grievance.

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