Couple who settled the convicted woman’s fine and drove all the way to Kajang Prison to get her released is an example of what is still right in Malaysia.
Fining a woman RM200 for stealing RM20 milk? Does this make any sense?. First the math is wrong. When she’s too poor to feed her baby, the government ask her for more money? Not to mention the cruelty of separating the mother from her child by sending her to prison.
Justice is just ice.
The whole world knows the big wrongs ongoing and unresolved in Malaysia. Malaysians are being robbed in daylight of billions of Ringgit even as we speak.
“…you have moral hazard, a very significant moral hazard from the political sphere.” – Godfrey Bloom MEP
Kudos to the Malay couple who helped Sellamah out
PETALING JAYA: It is still fresh in our minds – the incident of a woman slapped with a RM200 fine, or in default, five days’ jail for stealing a packet of Milo from a supermarket in the Dang Wangi area recently.
Many of us rolled our eyes in disgust at how the mother, a “Madam Sellamah”, who resorted to petty theft to feed her hungry child, was promptly “punished” by the law while those who steal millions of other people’s money get off scot free without so much as a rap on the knuckles.
We read, shook our heads in disbelief and moved on with our lives. One couple however, did not.
According to Hindraf chairman P Waythamoorthy, Sellamah is out of jail now – thanks to a Malay couple who not only made the noble gesture to settle her fine, but drove all the way to Kajang Prison to get her released.
This episode is a stark reminder of all that is both wrong, and right, with our country today.
The wrong – how Sellamah, despite pleading for forgiveness in her mitigation, by explaining she resorted to stealing only because her two-year-old was pestering her for a drink, was slapped with a RM200 fine, which she definitely could not afford to pay.
A stern warning, or as Waythamoorthy pointed out, referral to the Welfare Department for assistance would have sufficed, but the magistrate certainly saw it fit to pass a deterrent sentence – never mind the fact that Sellamah’s child would have to spend five days “motherless.”
Wrong number two – the fact that no one in the court during the sentencing, including the “learned” lawyers, thought of paying the fine on Sellamah’s behalf and sparing her the ordeal of a jail term.
Let’s set the record straight – the point of this article is not to encourage criminal acts, such as theft. But Malaysia, including her judicial system, is quite well known for being lenient with those who steal millions, and harsh on those who commit petty crimes.
Sometimes a little compassion goes a long way.
The right – the faceless, nameless couple who helped a complete stranger at their own expense. According to Waythamoorthy, the woman and her husband were late to their son’s school to collect his SPM exam results, as they had “de-toured” to the Kajang Prison.
The woman reportedly told Waythamoorthy that “as a mother, I could feel her (Sellamah’s) pain.”
I take my hat off to this woman and her husband for their selfless act.
They were in no way obligated to spend their own money and take the trouble to help out someone totally unrelated to them.
While they were at it, they could have taken the route of some “samaritans” by publicising their act of charity on social media while taking a selfie with Sellamah as “evidence” of their compassion.
But no, they offered genuine help and chose to remain anonymous.
This is humanity, Malaysian style. This is the Malaysia we have known all this while, and have come to love.
It is not the racist, bigoted image that politicians with self-serving agendas feed us on a daily basis.
It is not the extreme acts of racial and religious intolerance that the followers of these very politicians observe.
Regardless of the colour of our skin and the God we worship, we stand by each other come what may and against the forces that try to prove us wrong.
Now, if only there were more rights than wrongs in our country, Malaysia would be a much better place.