3 suggestions on what activists can do with the Pardons Board’s partial pardon for ex-premier Najib

Letter to editor

IF NETIZENS and activists continue to be unhappy with the decision made by the former Agong and the Pardons Board, there are three suggestions they can consider.

No matter how people have explained, including this beautifully-crafted piece by one Datuk Kenny Ng, people will still choose to believe the half-truths perpetrated by those with a different agenda:

Constitutionally what Anwar Ibrahim (AI) said is entirely correct.

 The prosecution by the AGC represents the action of the Executive whereas the trial of Najib was the action of the Judiciary independent from the Executive.

 Once justice finally ends at the Judiciary, then mercy begins with the King as the fountain of mercy, independent of both the Executive & Judiciary. This is one of the residual independent prerogatives of the King which he can exercise them without the need to act on the advice of the PM or relevant minister under the pertinent Act of Parliament.

 Under Article 42 on the right of the King to grant a pardon no doubt it stipulates that the King shall act on the advice of the Pardons Board (PD).

 But then the PD consists of the AG & FT Minister who are both from the Executive whereas the other 3 members are appointed by the King himself in his absolute discretion & with the King to preside over the PB itself. In short the King is in total control of the PB as the exclusive domain & jurisdiction of the King, totally independent of the other 3 branches of government.

So the decision of the King based on the advice of the PD is in fact the decision of the King himself though for reason of being wise the King will listen to the input of all the members in the PB before making his final decision which the Executive, the Judiciary & the Legislature cannot question & intervene.

 This is all part & parcel of constitutional check & balance of powers in our system under the Doctrine of Separation of Powers. The Executive cannot be the prosecutor of Najib in the first place, and then having successfully done so through the independent Judiciary, thereafter requiring Najib to plead his prosecutor the Executive for mercy when in the first place it was the Executive which was his original prosecutor.

Doesn’t make sense at all right? And certainly most unfair if that’s the case. Simple as that if one works it out and understands it instead of consuming with much indignation and sense of self-righteousness by many without a sound basis for those passions. My 2 sen’s worth ya? Cheers!

The three simple suggestions

For all these activists, I have only three suggestions. If they are successful, I may consider voting for them.

Suggestion 1: Now that Anwar has given his clarifications based on his knowledge, these activists can appeal to the Agong (both former and present).

Whether newly-installed Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar or former Agong Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah agree to say something, it is their prerogative.

17th Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar (right) with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim (Pic credit: Sultan Ibrahim’s Facebook)

However, please be realistic that neither the Agong nor the Pardons Board have the obligation under the Federal Constitution to respond to the call for clarification.

In the past, neither the Agong nor the Pardons Board ever gave an explanation when rejecting or granting the full pardon to; hence please do not ask for the impossible.

Suggestion 2: Activist lawyers can offer to lead a team of other legal eagles to also appeal to the Agong and the Conference of Malay Rulers to ask for reform of the Pardons Board. They can offer to do this noble work without asking for pay.

Since the jurisdiction of the Pardons Board is enshrined in the Federal Constitution – without the support of two-thirds majority – Anwar would not be able to support the amendment even if the Conference of Malay Rulers give their consent.

The call for reforms should also be backed up with the need to convince the opposition MPs to support the amendments to the Federal Constitution. The same team of people should also convince the opposition to support the amendment.

The Conference of Malay Rulers (Pic credit: Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar’s Facebook)

But if the legal eagles cannot even go pass the Their Royal Highnesses, we should just “crucify” them for not being sincere about reforms.

Suggestion 3: Several activists have challenged Anwar not to talk about fighting corruption. They also demanded that Malaysia Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Commissioner Tan Sri Azam Baki resign from his current post because of the case involving his brother.

However, I suggest that these activists come out with a list of former prime ministers (PMs) who have the tenacity to haul in big fishes with titles of “Tun” and “Tan Sri”.

While I do not deny that Najib’s crime against the nation has left the country in deeper debts – and that he should be jailed – the noise that I hear from some people is simply unnecessary, especially when the government has more important tasks to focus on in reviving the economy. – Feb 6, 2024


James Lai
Petaling Jaya

The views expressed are solely of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Focus Malaysia.

Subscribe and get top news delivered to your Inbox everyday for FREE