Punishment dispensed in the name of “justice” can sometimes be too much for too little and in some cases, one wonders where is the mercy. One also wonders if justice is sometimes dispensed literally, in accordance with the books – with no emotions attached.
On October 6, a foreigner was sentenced to a three-year-jail sentence by the Sandakan Magistrate Court today – for breaking into a restaurant and stealing RM1.
“27-year-old Abu Huraira Razak pleaded guilty before Magistrate Faelly Jeffrey Lanjungan, who also ordered to pay a RM5,000 fine, or serve 12 months in prison. He is also ordered to be deported back to the Philippines after he completes his sentence.
“Abu Huraira, who had arrived in Malaysia illegally three days, before he was arrested on Sept 15 after committing the theft. He had broken into a restaurant through the back door and stone an ornamental coin box from the counter. The counter contained only RM1.
“He was arrested as he tried to escape, after an employee realised that someone had broken into the premises and alerted the police. The unrepresented man was ordered to serve his sentence from the time of his arrest.
“Abu Huraira was charged under Section 457 of the Penal Code, which deals with trespassing or housebreaking in order to commit an offence punishable with imprisonment,” reported newsportal The Coverage.
While this news did not get much coverage from the media, or reaction from the public, it is pertinent for us to question if a man unrepresented, stealing RM1, with plain intention to burgle, not having hurt anyone, deserves such a long term imprisonment.
It also questions whether it is fair to punish him based on that RM1 theft alone, with no other factors taken into account.
While some Malaysians would say, “Why should we be bothered – after all he is an illegal migrant who steals?” one must see that Abu Huraira has just arrived on Malaysian soil for three days and bad luck got him arrested.
While stealing is stealing, no matter what the amount is, one must first find out why is it he had taken an ornamental box only containing RM1. Was he hungry?
His is the story of thousands of illegal migrants who arrive on our shores, thinking that this land is paved with gold and that life would be so much better from where they come from.
There is a reason why Filipinos illegally enter Sabah and it is not to kidnap Malaysians. It is because life is hard for these people in the Philippines and having relatives or friends here who tells them that at least you get to eat daily in Sabah, many poor Filipinos cross over, risking everything.
Also, Abu Huraira made it into Sabah because of the laxity of those who take care of Sabah borders and they too should have been admonished in his case.
Unfortunately, it is Abu Huraira who languishes in jail – for that RM1.
The Heat Malaysia Online