'Umar jailing reminder of judicial reform failures'

The harsh jail sentence imposed on student Umar Mohd Azmi is a reminder of the justice system's failings and the government's inability to reform it, charges DAP supremo Lim Kit Siang.

"It is utterly outrageous as well as a devastating reminder just before the 13th General Election, that despite all the sloganeering about government, economic, educational, social and political transformation programmes, the criminal justice system in Malaysia still sucks even under the four-year premiership of Najib Abdul Razak.

"The stark failure, whether under Najib or his predecessor Abdullah (Ahmad Badawi) to reform, let alone transform the criminal justice system after the ravages... caused by the 22-year premiership of Dr Mahathir Mohamad, has been vividly highlighted by the Umar case, Lim (below) said in a statement today.

NONEof RM1,000 on being found guilty by the Kuala Lumpur MagistraThis, he said, was in addition to several other unresolved mega scandals of injustice such as the murder of Mongolian national Altantuya Shaariibuu, death of political aide Teoh Beng Hock and other death in custody such as that of V Kugan.

Umar wassentenced to a month's jail and a fine te's Court of obstructing Kuala Lumpur City Hall officers from discharging their duties during a raid on student protesters occupying Dataran Merdeka.

Describing the sentence as a gross injustice , Lim who is overseas voiced support for students who are now holding a  'occupyprotest' outside Kajang Prison where Umar is serving sentence.

Lim likened the protest camp to the 1998 protest action against the 18-month jailing of DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng for spreading false information after he took up the case of the alleged rape of a 14-year-old girl by a chief minister

Lim said DAP leaders and supporters had then staged an 18-day Free Guan Eng protest fast to express nationwide dismay, shock, grief and outrage at a great injustice at Kajang Prison, the same place where Guan Eng was held.

Kajang student camp"I support the protest camp outside Kajang Prison set up by student activists and it should be visited by all justice-loving Malaysians like during the 18-day Free Guan Eng Marathon Fast 14 years ago in Kajang,"he added.

He also said that the case is strong for the protest camp to last as long as Umar is unjustly imprisoned.

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