09 April 2023

Is PMX colluding with Umno to set Najib free?...

Is Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim colluding with UMNO to free former prime minister Najib Tun Razak from jail? It might have been far-fetched a few months ago but recent developments appear to suggest that something nefarious might be afoot.

Both the former attorney-general who charged Najib as well as the high court judge who convicted him have come under sustained attack with a view to discrediting them. Aspersions have also been cast on other judges as well. The Chief Justice has received death threats.

UMNO’s objective is clear enough: to persuade the public that though Najib was found guilty and his sentence upheld by the highest court in the land, he is but an innocent victim, a man who was targeted and then railroaded by the justice system as part of some grand conspiracy to destroy UMNO and by extension, Malay political power.

Don’t for one minute believe that all this is being done because they believe Najib is innocent; the evidence is just too overwhelming for that. This mass hoax about Najib’s innocence is being perpetrated because UMNO is desperate enough to believe that freeing Najib will result in a massive outpouring of sympathy and support for UMNO. It’s not about justice; it’s about power and politics.

That there is high-level collusion going on behind the scenes is no longer in doubt. Revelations that Azalina Othman Said, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Law and Institutional Reform) had written to Najib’s lawyers confirming that an MACC investigation had found Justice Nazlan Ghazali (the judge who presided over Najib’s SRC case) to be in conflict of interest and had violated the Judges’ Code of Ethics, makes this very clear.

What game is the MACC playing by sharing its reports with Azalina? Such reports are normally submitted to the AG for further action, not shared with politicians. And what reason can Azalina have to divulge such information to Najib’s lawyers, knowing full well that it would inevitably be made public? Has a backchannel been set up to pass sensitive information to Najib to help him?

In any case, the MACC’s investigation has been thoroughly discredited by the Federal Court which found that the investigation of Justice Nazlan was unconstitutional, illegal and undermined the independence of the judiciary.

In other words, the MACC report is trash; it should never have been circulated leave alone made out to be the final word on the guilt or otherwise of Justice Nazlan. It is not Justice Nazlan – who has now been exonerated twice by the court – who stands discredited but the MACC chief. He should have been immediately sacked after the courts rebuked him.

Having suitably muddied the waters, cast aspersions on the integrity of the entire judicial system and created doubts about Najib’s guilt, UMNO is now pushing for an immediate royal pardon for Najib.

A fundamental tenet of the judicial system – that the majority view prevails in both the Court of Appeal and the Federal Court – is being upended; the dissenting voice of a single judge is being given credence over that of 13 other judges. If this iniquitous scheme succeeds, our judiciary is as good as dead.

While it comes as no surprise that UMNO would go to such lengths to overturn Najib’s conviction, what is astonishing is that the Prime Minister himself has said nothing thus far. The judiciary, a vital national institution, one of the pillars of our democracy, is under attack and the Prime Minister remains a mute witness.

Is there no moral outrage from the man who has made good governance his middle name? Is the Prime Minister okay with this conspiracy to defame judges and undermine the judiciary?

He certainly cannot be unaware of what’s going on and neither can he be unmindful of the consequences of UMNO’s actions. Does his silence mean consent? Is this the price that he has secretly agreed to pay for UMNO’s support?

I voted for Anwar and Pakatan Harapan because I believed them to be honest leaders deeply committed to justice, institutional reform and good governance. And I get it that for the sake of political stability, UMNO has to be part of the government. 

But if the end result is simply an arrangement to sustain them in power at the cost of our judiciary and of everything we hold dear, then what is the point of it all? – Dennis Ignatius

Tiada Maaf Bagi Mu, Najib...

Kalut soal pengampunan sepenuhnya kepada Najib Razak. Permohonan itu dibuat oleh Umno. Apakah tujuan pengampunan boleh dibuat pihak lain bukan oleh peribadai berkenaan. 

Saya masih ingat satu masa dahulu ada Ngo memohon pengampunan bagi pihak Anwar Ibrahim tetap ia tidak dilayan atas alasan permohonan pegampunan perlu dilakukan Anwar sendiri atau pihak keluarganya.Apakah dalam kes Najib ini berbeza? 

Seperkara lagi wajar dan adilkah kalau pengampunan diberikan sedang beliau belim sampai 1/3 tempoh menjalani penjara 12 tahun?... - mso.

Judge Nazlan’s judgment was watertight, 
can’t be challenged or disturbed...

The Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak, Datuk Abdul Rahman Sebli, was well within his rights in expressing his solitary disruptive dissent against the majority decision in the appeal brought up by Datuk Seri Najib Razak against various decisions of the earlier Federal Court panel of seven judges. That is the lone judge’s prerogative which must be respected. That said, let’s recall the negative baggage of a bygone era of kakistocracy and kleptocracy.

The case involving Najib was an unprecedented one in that it involved a former prime minister (PM) as well as the country’s phenomenal wonder boy. He was the son of the country’s most powerful PM.His father, Tun Razak Hussein, ruled the country by decree for more than a year after the May 13 incidents of 1969 and was responsible for overseeing legislation to extend the scope of Article 153 of the Malaysian Constitution which provides for the special position of Malays in the peninsula, to cover the natives of Sabah and Sarawak.

Razak died in office at the age of 53, and that sad reality provided Najib much mileage, sympathy and support which propelled his meteoric political career from his early 20s. Criminal charges could only be levelled against Najib after he had vacated the PM’s office.

In his last three years in office, Najib was walking tall. He was effusive and upbeat about investing in the US and about Malaysia’s growth potential while being in the eye of the encroaching storm over the 1MDB (1Malaysia Development Bhd) debacle.

US attorney-general Loretta Lynch 

How it all began

However, the then US attorney-general (AG) Loretta Lynch made a damaging public disclosure on July 16, 2016 of the largest kleptocratic seizure which specifically related to Najib’s transgressions. Jeff Sessions, Lynch’s successor, called it “kleptocracy at its worst”.

On July 29, 2015, Najib had removed from their positions both the deputy prime minister and the Malaysian AG over differing perspectives on the 1MDB issue.These episodes would show clearly that Najib was long in denial of the alleged embezzlement and misuse of public funds which could be easily traced to him.

When Najib lost the 2018 general election, he remained an MP who showed much determination to bring down and denigrate the fledgling Pakatan Harapan (PH) government. On July 3, 2018, he was charged in court initially for three counts of criminal breach of trust and one count of abuse of power.

Proceedings at the High Court and the Court of Appeal moved in fits and starts as Najib’s legal team was able to raise reasonable grounds for postponements, adjournments and deferments on account of technicalities and other issues, including the COVID-19 pandemic. After the completion of these processes over four years, the Federal Court comprising seven judges finally made its unanimous verdict, affirming his guilt, prison sentence and fine.

On Aug 23 last year, after some unusual courtroom drama involving a clearly dedicated but divided and dissembling defence team, Najib’s sentences which were passed initially at the High Court were reaffirmed. He was then taken to serve his 12-year prison sentence. Najib was dissatisfied and his legal teams – the best that money could buy in the country – sought a review of those Federal Court proceedings. The review panel made up of five judges, aware of their profound and sacred responsibility, delivered a 4-1 verdict dismissing Najib’s appeal on March 31, 2023.

Straightforward corruption case

Flash back five years ago. When a newly appointed AG Tan Sri Tommy Thomas appeared in court to lead the prosecution on July 3, 2018, he was duly authorised to act. More than that, he was the face and voice of the much-silenced whistleblowers, upright civil servants and innumerable people of Malaysia.

By the last years of Najib’s regime, acts of corruption, abuse of office and money laundering had grown rampant. Contracts, franchises, licences, leases, monopolies, projects – including for major infrastructure – became the exclusive preserve of complicit corporate players. They appeared to be in cahoots with the agents, allies and associates of members of the country’s most corrupt and compromised government.

Najib’s was not an extraordinary case. It was a straightforward and typical corruption case. He took a relatively small payment of RM42 mil but the cost to the country in just that one case in monetary terms ran into the billions. There was a larger, immeasurable, inestimable cost. For a small token sum, this holder of the most powerful office in the country was willing to sacrifice set safeguards, standards and the sanctity of trust.

He was willing to compromise on good and responsible governance which would impinge on the country’s sovereignty, security, well-being, integrity and international reputation. He abdicated his sworn larger responsibilities to King and country for a pittance to maintain and sustain his elected position and affluent lifestyle.

Watertight judgment

The courageous people who spoke up against Najib from the beginning were the patriots, the loyal citizens, the whistleblowers and witnesses. They took immense risks and were prepared to face the consequences of squealing on the misdeeds of the most powerful official in the country.

Every step of the way, Najib – a popular and populist politician – could manipulate and organise shows of support for himself. He could sideline or sack his detractors or simply stonewall them. Undoubtedly, Najib wielded almost unfettered power while in office but could not escape from the law. He became the accused in the high profile SRC International case.

There should not be any doubt that the process of investigating, gathering evidence, proceeding on the prosecution and hearing the case would have been done in the most impartial, meticulous and professional way.

Such care and caution were abundantly evident in High Court judge Datuk Mohd Nazlan Ghazali’s judgment. Those findings were watertight and could not be challenged or disturbed. For that reason, both the Court of Appeal and the Federal Court did not interfere with his findings.

So, it does seem incongruent and somewhat impertinent that paragraph 115 of the dissenting judgment of Federal Court judge Abdul Rahman clearly implies that an order of discharge and acquittal of Najib would be the proper course. It would seem Justice Abdul Rahman was unduly influenced by the defence’s submissions. How could this have happened? – Datuk M. Santhananaban 

Empty vessels make the most noise...

Ini jawapan PMX kpd tuduhan awak Din...


No comments: