Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Why guilty until proven innocent is dangerous

Salleh Said Keruak

One of the DAP leaders said that the government must be considered guilty until proven innocent and that the innocent until proven guilty rule cannot apply. This DAP leader was targeting his comment at Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak (and Umno as well) who must be regarded guilty of the Wall Street Journal allegation until and unless he can prove his innocence.

This is a very dangerous concept and if applied would have far-reaching consequences. To subject a government or government leader to the guilty until proven innocent rule would open the country to an injustice that, just like the Pandora’s box, once opened can never be closed again.

Was not Iraq and Saddam Hussein subjected to this same rule? Iraq was accused of manufacturing weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) and was assumed guilty until its innocence can be proven. The allied forces then bombed Iraq at the loss of countless lives and after the country was occupied it was discovered that there were no WMDs after all.

Pakistan is being accused of supporting the Taliban. The fact that the Taliban originated from Pakistan makes this allegation believable. Even Aljazeera said that Pakistan is behind the Taliban.

So what should the free world do? Should it now bomb Pakistan as well like it is doing to Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan? And what if Pakistan fights back using nuclear weapons? Would that not only mean an outbreak of WWIII but probably the end of the world as well?

So you see, statements by DAP leaders that it is morally right to consider a country or its leaders guilty until proven innocent is an irresponsible stand that can result in serious repercussions. These are not the type of statement we would expect from such people.

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