A concerned Malaysian writes about Malaysian affairs. "You are the Change you Seek" Barack Obama

Thursday, January 17, 2008

"An Unjust Law is No Law...."

I did not coin up this phrase but these words are attributed to St. Augustine who lived in the third century.

Neither am I turning religious but this phrase was used in a new movie called "The Great Debaters" starring Denzel Washington that shows the struggle of the blacks in the USA.

Malaysia too has some laws that many consider unjust and some of these laws are draconian; especially the ISA that can deny you your freedom indefinitely if the Home Minister decides to use his unrestrained powers of detention.

Of course many of these laws are always deemed necessary by a few leaders for national security and racial harmony.

In the movie, DW plays the role of a lecturer in a small black college that develops an all-conquering debating team.

Many of us who were around in the 50s and 60s know how difficult was the struggle of the blacks to win equal rights in America.

We all know the great Martin Luther King, Jr. who paid the ultimate price with his life. Here is an inspiring letter he wrote from a jail cell in Birmingham.

To quote a paragraph:

We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed. Frankly, I have yet to engage in a direct-action campaign that was "well timed" in the view of those who have not suffered unduly from the disease of segregation. For years now I have heard the word "Wait!" It rings in the ear of every Negro with piercing familiarity. This "Wait" has almost always meant 'Never." We must come to see, with one of our distinguished jurists, that "justice too long delayed is justice denied."

How long have we been waiting for justice? I believe the BERSIH and HINDRAF supporters feel we Malaysians have unjust laws in our nation. Can our leaders rise to the challenge?

WARNING: It is dangerous to hold one's breath too long.

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