What's the difference between a donation and corruption? In Malaysia, there's none. At least according to a Malaysian lawyer who is defending a client on charges of corruption.
Mohd Yahya Mat Sahri, a special officer to former Selangor Menteri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim, faced charges for accepting a RM50,000 political donation. Acting for Yahya is lawyer Manjeet Singh Dhillon who say the case should be thrown out because "political donations" are not against the law in Malaysia.
Yahya has already been sentenced to two years jail and two strokes of the rota for the case but on appeal, Mr. Manjeet say the case should be thrown out. To no one's surprise, Mr. Manjeet cited Malaysian Attorney-General Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali's refusal to frame charges against the Malaysian Prime Minister for accepting RM2.6 billion in political donation from the Saudi royal family.
Manjeet then produced the Dewan Rakyat hansard on December 2 last year where Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Zahid Hamidi told the house that there was no law to stop anyone from accepting donations for political purposes. To Mr. Manjeet, if both the AG and the Deputy Prime Minister say that political donations are legal, then his client has no case to answer.
Sadly, he is right. If the Malaysian Prime Minister gets a free pass for RM2.6 BILLION, what the hell is RM50,000? It's not even 1%! In all fairness, Mohd Yahya Mat Sahri need to be set free. After all, what's good for the goose is good for the gander.