One must remember that morally right does not mean legally right, said political critic Raja Sara Petra, referring to Pandan MP Rafizi Ramli’s conviction by Sessions Court on Monday.
Raja Sara said the PKR leader can argue all day long that he deliberately broke the law to expose what he perceived as “corruption”, but the court would be more concerned about whether he did break the law, something which Rafizi never denied.
She said court would not be concerned on the reason why he broke the law, even if Rafizi claimed to have a noble reason to break it, thus Rafizi could be morally right, but was legally wrong.
“This is how the legal system works and there cannot be any compromise on this or else everyone will break the law and will argue that he or she is innocent because there is a good reason for breaking the law” said Raja Sara in a statement today.
She said the main ‘problem’ with the law was that the letter of the law sometimes would override the spirit of the law, hence the reason for an accused given a day in court to argue his or her case.
Citing the now repealed Internal Security Act (ISA), she said ISA was passed by Parliament, and supported by the opposition as well in 1960, to combat communism and terrorism.
But over the years, she said the law was extended to combat any form of threat to national security.
She noted that those detained under the ISA brought their cases to court and argued that its usage had deviated from the spirit of the law.
“The court, however, ruled that it was more concerned with the letter of the law and upheld the detentions as legal,” said Raja Sara.
Rafizi was sentenced to an 18-month jail for breaching the Official Secrets Act (OSA) 1972 after been in possession of a classified 1MDB audit report and revealing its contents to the media.
Raja Sara said Rafizi can still appeal to a higher court and if he had been wrongly convicted, the higher court would rectify that.
“But the defence that he had a good reason for breaking the law would not hold in any court. Rafizi needs to be aware of this,” she cautioned.