The elusive concept of justice

Justice as an ethical and moral principle resides only in the realm of the imagination.

It is a cerebral construct only realised in the creative, dramatic, and narrative literary expressions.

In the real world, the dispensing of justice is rarely on the ethical principle of equity, rather, more on socio-political expediency.

The International Court of Justice is a prime example of this lopsided dispensation of justice, when one compares the differences between the Palestinian-Israel, and the Russian-Ukraine conflicts.

It acted swiftly in condemning Russia for its incursion into Ukraine by imposing a plethora of sanctions against Moscow, in addition to issuing a warrant of arrest for Russian President Vladimir Putin, for war crimes.

The United States and its lackeys, including the European Union, supported this biased decision and provided Ukraine with financial aid and military assets, and imposed sanctions in the name of justice.

Reuters recently reported that the US had rejected Putin’s suggestion for a ceasefire, although Washington denied there had been any contact with Russia, adding that it would not engage in talks that did not involve Ukraine.

But in the case of the Palestinian-Israel conflict, it had to wait for South Africa to bring charges of genocide and war crimes against Israel to the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

Despite the overwhelming evidence against Israel, the ICJ betrayed its hallowed principles of dispensing justice without fear or favour, and exposed its prejudice in meting out justice based on ethnicity, and economic and military power.

Its decision on the Gaza conflict reflects its bias and prejudice. It dared not offend the United States and Israel, evidenced by its verdict of not directly accusing Israel of genocide, and in not calling for a ceasefire.

Instead, it called on Israel to use restraint in killing the Palestinians, not to stop the massacre. It means giving Israel carte blanche to continue dropping bombs and killing the Palestinians, but not to the extent of causing genocide.

What a hypocritical and scandalous stance by an international organisation that’s supposed to be the epitome of justice.

The United States of America also exhibited a skewed form of justice. It projects itself as the vanguard of justice and the custodian of human rights and freedom in its spurious efforts to promote democracy.

But it is the greatest violator of these tenets by denying justice to the oppressed and the downtrodden. It condoned the killing and annihilation of the Palestinian people by supplying bombs and military assistance to Israel. It recently approved another US$17 billion of weapons aid to Israel.

This so-called American justice was also played out against the indigenous American Indians, the Iraq weapons of mass destruction lie, and several South American incursions to destabilise governments.

It is wishful thinking to hope for genuine justice, for in the real world, justice is dispensed according to the greed and avarice for power and wealth by those in authority.

This is somewhat true In Malaysia as the rule of law appears to be malleable.

The bottom-tier commoner bears the brunt of the law and seldom gets a reprieve, as no one out there is fighting for him.

Next, is the wealthy and politically-connected, who have the means and affiliations to fight for a verdict favourable to them.

Above them is the favoured class of politicians who circumvent the law to their own advantage as they have the political clout and connections to affect it.

There have been many cases of politicians accused of malfeasance or misfeasance, corruption, and even more severe charges, who have gotten off scot-free, with their cases withdrawn or quashed.

The latest case of inverted justice is the partial pardoning of Datuk Seri Najib Razak, whose sentence was halved, and fine reduced from RM210 million to RM50 million.

The remission of sentence and fine were given to a felon convicted of looting the country of billions, and who committed the people to pay for his crimes and settle the debt from that scandal for the next 30 years. He also has two ongoing cases of fraud and money laundering.

According to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, the Pardons Board made the decision after taking into consideration Najib’s “contributions”. Anwar said this at the Prime Minister’s Assembly with officials from the Prime Minister’s Department on Feb 5.

How does one reconcile that with the ‘disservice’ Najib committed to the nation, by squandering billions of ringgit from the nation’s coffers?

It does not bode well for the future of the ruling government. The people will most assuredly hold them to account through the ballot box, for undermining the principles of justice and the sacrosanct rule of law. And for pulling the wool over the peoples’ eyes.

The views expressed here are the personal opinion of the writer and do not necessarily represent that of Twentytwo13.

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