What if Hitler, Al Capone and Bernie Madoff were all pardoned?

Why are so many criminals rooting for Donald Trump to trump Joe Biden and return to the White House as that terribly divided nation’s 47th POTUS?

Because, apart from having the gall to pardon himself in the ultimate abuse of presidential prerogative, he may well do the same for an assortment of other lawbreakers who may be indicted, tried, and eventually convicted.

In some religions, confession will absolve sins. Others require penance. Muslims have taubah – the word meaning a return to the congenital state of sinless purity plus the resolve not to repeat or err again.

It does not follow that heathens and disbelievers and agnostics and atheists don’t like the concept of pardon – only that it carries no divine blessing nor certitude nor conforming to any strict ritualistic edict.

So when the pardons come rather too easily, what incentive – or rather disincentive – is there for criminals to cease and desist and turn over a new leaf?

I am not penning this missive because I am pulling my hair at how someone could be given a Get Out Of Jail card!

But unless you are a Martian, social media was abuzz on a hot muggy Tuesday afternoon – which by the way was preceded appropriately by a huge thunderstorm lasting till dusk – with rumours that a certain Very Important Prisoner will soon be given a pardon.

A few hours later, the news outlet that led with the so-called scoop announcing the possible pardon apologised. Ooops! But, we pardon that news organisation anyway, shall we?

Cases of black men incarcerated in US prisons for 20 years or more upon wrongful conviction comes to mind.The errant prosecutors or law-enforcers who planted evidence or jurors who were unabashedly racists should rot in hell! Full pardon for the victim (with appropriate monetary recompense) while those responsible for the initial injustice should be prosecuted.

Here in Malaysia, are you not angered each time you hear of the average Malaysian who shoplifts a loaf of bread or a packet of instant mee to feed a hungry child, is given a jail sentence? That a bank officer divulging account details helping to expose shady deals or any other similar injustices is hounded in court? Apocryphal some may appear to be but these crimes are committed out of desperation – where someone who is really in dire need.

To err no doubt is human, and to forgive is divine. Our problem is that when humans err, some other humans assume the divine right to forgive.

But if pardoning is right – then pardon all, or else; pardon none!

Optics being so important, the powers that be must do the right thing and be seen to do the right thing. It becomes so galling when the subject of any pardon does not appear to be contrite, and makes no admission of guilt.

Yes, for the elites and entitled, perhaps “sorry” is the hardest word – maybe because they are not sorry in the first place!

No doubt there are any number of expedient political reasons why we find ourselves in such a bind now. And to see how some governments handle incendiary public relations like some doddering oafs does not instill any amount of confidence.

For the hapless public, you may rant and rage and go shout from the rooftops asking; “Who or why; let him/her out?”

As usual, leave it to comedian Douglas Lim (main image) who never fails to see the gallows humor in the way we Malaysians shoot ourselves in the foot. He came up with his Pandan’s Board skit which surreptitiously stitched in the nutritive contribution of one ‘Bijan’ (ostensibly sesame seed, but to followers of local politics they know who Bijan is).

Hear that USA? Douglas Lim would make for a better President!

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

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