It was quite a heartening change reading for two consecutive days, a subject that has been on the mind of everyone for sometime …. but somehow not articulated or discussed in the media at large.

I am referring to the lack of deterrent sentences for white collar crime.

What was thought to be a Friday article in the Business section of The Star became a bigger article on its Saturday issue in the Star Biz section. click HERE for Friday article

The article seems to seek some form of accountability for these light sentences that are being meted out to convicted white collar criminals …… much to the disgust of everyone else. click HERE for Saturday article

Equally surprising was that the Chief Justice, Tun Zaki Azmi, was prepared to personally enter the fray whilst the other enforcement agencies, SC and Bursa, hid behind their media affairs department.

And to be quite honest, Tun Zaki’s statement that, “Strong cases needed for deterrent sentences”, says it all.

We must always bear in mind that the penalties set out in law is in a range of years or quantum of fine e.g. jail of up to 20 years or a fine of up to RM5.0 million.

It is not rocket science to deduce that the exact sentence to be meted out by the judge will be based on the severity of the conviction.

If it is technical in nature, then the sentencing will be relatively light as compared to conviction that was more serious in nature.

The onus is therefore on the prosecution to prove convincingly to the judge that the sentence should be heavy.

I have read of clear cut cases having been thrown out by the court due to the shoddiness of the case presented to court.

It certainly does not augur well for the enforcement agencies.

Therefore round 1 to the judiciary.

Try harder the next time round, enforcement agencies!


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