Conversations with my sister

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News that the police are charging me for sedition, this time for my 31 December 2015 blog post entitled “My heart goes to Indira Gandhi”, spread quickly on online media. Even my sister Asiah, who lives in a quiet corner of Kelantan, soon heard the news.

She called me right away, sounding very distraught. She was worried I was about to end up in the lock-up or in prison. She suggested that I stop writing altogether, and said I should be content to play with my grandson Ayesh. She thinks there are safer things for me to do.

I told her that judges should be our last bastion of protection from tyranny. Judges are the special individuals who can dispense justice when politicians and the other stakeholders in the system have failed altogether. But when high-placed judges lose their capacity for compassion — in Indira’s case, to do what’s right and just for a mother — then we have a problem. The least we can do is to voice our concern.

Of course, some judges get upset when I call them “heartless”. Heartless means unkind. I could have described them as Sunni clerics but I didn’t. They have become hypersensitive, like our political leaders who cannot even tolerate cartoonists.

They level sedition charges against cartoonists and bloggers like me because their feelings are hurt. Their feelings are apparently more important than the feelings of a helpless mother, so much so that they require the protection of the Sedition Act.

See how arrogant these people have become — you cannot hurt them at all. But if we say and do nothing, more of these types will ascend to the highest levels of the judiciary and in future, our grandchildren will possibly face sedition charges for even more minor infractions.

I told her (and my darling wife Suliana) that the least we can do at our age is to dedicate our lives to the betterment of the people of this country. If all we can do is write, then we must continue writing. If all we can do is speak, then we must speak out. There is no better country than Malaysia and there is no better set of people—made up of various races professing different religions—than the people of this country. But the promise of who we can truly be will only be fulfilled if the people want things to be better.

So I told my sister, let’s not be cowed by these judges. They are like that because the people have given them too much latitude. They have rubbed shoulders with politicians and members of the royalty for far too long. They are excited about the prospect of being given Board appointments in big companies after retirement, as their predecessors did, and they get too many titles for their own good. In the end, some of them have forgotten about little things such as kindness, compassion and the feelings of a mother.

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  1. Potthai Lang
    Potthai Lang
    January 13, 2016 at 5:23 pm

    Zaid, I salute you….

    But please prove you can continue write as frequently as you were and not once in a month(s).

    It’s not going to be easy as you facing the whole govt resources who wants you to stop writing. Let’s see….

  2. Gasinggeorge
    January 13, 2016 at 8:08 pm

    Datuk please dont ever lose heart, just keep on writing. You are a much appreciated light in the moral darkness.

  3. Hema Ayavoo
    Hema Ayavoo
    January 13, 2016 at 9:57 pm

    After so long I am seeing a brave man……who dare so lot…..Salute Sir…

  4. Aoshd
    January 13, 2016 at 10:00 pm

    If the Chief Justice says receiving criticism is part of Common Law tradition, why are you being investigated ? Isn’t judges’ defence and prestige built on delivering sound judgements ?

  5. Rahman Yii
    Rahman Yii
    January 16, 2016 at 7:35 pm

    You are the last invisible thread holding our nation together. I wish more Malays leaders can be sensible and mature to hold our country together. Thank you nonetheless.

  6. Joe
    January 16, 2016 at 8:17 pm

    It is your sister’s well meaning behaviour that makes it unlikely that your crusade will work. Truth is the Malay as a race has already tarnished themselves. No matter where they end up, they will already be tarnished.

  7. SC
    January 17, 2016 at 2:59 pm

    Zaid, If you stop writing, you would have let these gutless Communists win in oppression of your freedom to write what you wish.

    The onus is on them, to rebut and refute your arguments. This is basic democracy.

    It is unfortunate that you reside in one of the most backwards countries on earth.
    What a shame… Malaysia could have been like… Singapore or Thailand, but it is more akin to North Africa.

  8. admiral zheng
    admiral zheng
    January 17, 2016 at 5:28 pm

    Sir you are one of us. Thank you for standing up for Justice and the downtrodden.

  9. Amansoleh Rina
    Amansoleh Rina
    January 18, 2016 at 2:54 pm

    Kawe support demo spiritually

  10. Brendan Yong-Keat Pang
    Brendan Yong-Keat Pang
    January 14, 2017 at 5:17 pm

    By contrast in the U.K. the Court of Appeal judges who held against the British government in the Brexit case were heavily and wrongly attacked by the tabloids. And the judges behaved with complete dignity and maintained silence, leaving it to others to defend the independence of the judiciary. Chalk and cheese! Grow up Malaysia! The law enforcement agencies i.e. the Police and the judges need to regain their independence from the Executive/government, before we will see real improvements.

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