C4: “Pardon process needs serious reforms after ‘tainted’ Najib granted discounted terms”

CENTER to Combat Corruption and Cronyism (C4 Center) there was a need to recognise that the pardons process in Malaysia should undergo appropriate reforms in the wake of the much-criticised decision by the Pardons Board to grant former premier Datuk Seri Najib Razak a partial pardon last week.
Expressing its disappointment over the matter, the C4 Center stated that the incident must be viewed as a watershed moment for Malaysia and there was a need to recognise that the pardons process should undergo appropriate reforms.

It said in a statement today that suitable limits should be introduced in order to uphold justice and fairness for all, such as mandatory minimum periods for serving one’s prison sentence before a pardon application is considered and a restriction against granting pardons where other criminal prosecutions of a similar nature are still pending against the individual.

“There is serious doubt as to whether Najib is deserving of such mercy for the crimes he has committed.

“In his position as the leader of the nation, he abused the authority and trust reposed in him by voters to unjustly enrich himself to the detriment of all other Malaysians.”

C4 added that the courts had referred to the SRC International case as a national embarrassment and noted that Najib still had several pending criminal trials for other corruption-related offences, including a summary judgement of about RM1.69 bil in unpaid taxes due to the Inland Revenue Board.

“His legacy is tainted with multiple instances of massive theft from the Malaysian people. His actions have imposed exorbitant debts upon innocent taxpayers, depleting public funds that could have provided for our citizens for years to come.

“Is this truly the sort of person who deserves clemency?”

In a nation where individuals are imprisoned for stealing minor sums to support their families and have to serve their sentences in their entirety, the conferral of mercy upon a man who stole millions is a mockery of the constitutional right to equality and equal protection of law under Article 8 of the Federal Constitution.

“This decision comes at a huge cost: that of public funds spent on the various trials, interlocutory applications, and appeals arising from Najib’s prosecution.” – Feb 4, 2024

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