Fahri Azzat, who occasionally visits the Istana Kehakiman to do a bit of filing, case management, breakfast and use the impressive toilets, shares his thoughts on the security machines and guards stationed at the entrances and naturally concludes with the necessity for the removal of both.
If you visit the Istana Kehakiman (formerly mis-described as the “Palace of Justice”) at Putrajaya, you will notice some impressive security machinery at the entrances. There is a metal detector, an X-ray machine and a guard who can use the portable metal detector on you where appropriate. If they want to.
Although our bodies are scanned and the bags x-rayed, I really don’t know what those machines are for. Sometimes there are no guards manning the machine. One can just walk right through. Especially after the 9am morning crowd. In fact, I and just about everybody I see who walks through the metal detector sets it off but we are usually not further frisked or scanned thereafter. If you’re not going to frisk or scan us further then why bother, why waste the electricity to have those machines on?
Sometimes when we send our bags through the X-ray machine, there is no one observing the contents of the bag. The guard would be sitting somewhere closer to the door with a better view of the outside because he is usually bored out of his wits. Serious. If you wait long enough, I feel certain their brains would spill out of their ears. All they do is eye us warily from their corner as they tip their chair back as if their eyes possessed the ability to X-ray evil intentions for a few seconds before turning to what they were occupied with before.
In short, they are not using the machines as they are supposed to. There are security machines, there are security guards but there is no security. This is the magic of Malaysia. A bit like our laws – we have laws, we have courts but there is no law and even less order. Not even David Copperfield can pull off feats of illusion!
So what this means is that the machines are not for purposes of security. This suggests that it is there for some less obvious other purposes. We can also infer that since those machines are not seriously or consistently operated it is there for show. But shows cost money. X-ray machines, metal detectors cost money. And we all know that in Malaysia, money from the government means “project”. And project usually means out of our pockets i.e. tax payers money and into some well connected person’s pocket (or their flunkies).
I’m not sure why we need those machines in the Istana Kehakiman in the first place. I am not aware of any threats made against the building or the courts. For the time being, the likelihood of a threat against the Istana Kehakiman would be more from within, than without.
That money should have been spent on purchasing tasteful benches that blended with the splendid decor. More of that would be nice. Or upgrading the Judiciary museum to make it available to the public. That would make the place more interesting to visit. Seems to be opened for dignitaries only. Or nice and better room for members of the public to cool their heels and wait patiently.
Since they (the machines and the guards) are the first thing the public, clients, foreign guests and lawyers meet upon entering the court, and they symbolize incompetence and corruption, it is therefore in the interest of the Istana Kehakiman to get rid of both.
We wouldn’t want the public to think that our Judges and Judiciary were incompetent or corrupt similarly now would we?
Especially now that most of them along with the government appear to have forgotten the Royal Circus of Malaysia on the VK Lingam video clip.