UMNO secretary-general Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan has been told by netizens to refrain from feeling sympathetic towards incarcerated former premier Datuk Seri Najib Razak simply because one dissenting judge ruled in his favour.
Khalifah Marhaen (@AhmadNazirMAzmi) reminded the Deputy Finance Minister that Najib, who had his application for a review of his conviction and sentence in the SRC International Sdn Bhd case last Friday (March 31) rejected, had been “accorded fair trail at all stages”.
“This includes one High Court judge, three Court of Appeal judges, five Federal Court judges and four Federal Court judges. All 13 judges agree that Najib is guilty and remains guilty,” argued the netizen.
“Why revere the opinion of one person when the majority of the judges ruled that Najib is guilty. Just move on, UMNO.”
For context, Ahmad who is the Pontian MP and former deputy minister of international trade and industry during Najib’s administration has tweeted his sympathy for Najib yesterday (April 2) morning after reading an article on Berita Harian titled “Ex-PM not properly represented, should be released”.
“In conjunction with #Ramadan in which our sincere prayers are answered by God, please say a prayer or two for DSN (Najib) to be freed. May the tyranny be lifted from the burden that fell on him. Ya Allah, please help DS Najib.”
Except for Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak Datuk Abdul Rahman Sebli, the Federal Court has in a 4-1 decision rejected Najib’s appeal after ruling that he was actually the author of his own misfortune for the way his appeal hearings had transpired.
However, Abdul Rahman ruled that it was unfair for the former Pekan MP to pay the highest price for the mistakes done by his counsel. He contended that Najib’s then-lawyer (Datuk Hisyam Teh Poh Teik) had been denied an opportunity to submit as the latter said he was unprepared to do so after taking on the case at the last minute.
Netizen helmi (@helmi00390954) told Ahmad not to harp on the issue anymore as Najib has been given a chance “to fire his lawyer and appoint a new lawyer”.
“The case was not tried in one day but has gone on for a long time. Why is it that when it was almost over, there was suddenly the urge to terminate the (existing) lawyer? Allah gives us brain to think, Mat.”
Don Madani (@Yanendei) also opined that Najib had been accorded a fair trial during which he was alleged to have absconded RM42 mil belonging to SRC International which was a former subsidiary of 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).
“Sorry, Ahmad. Bossku (moniker for Najib) has gotten everything he wanted. Delayed many times with unreasonable reasons, request a signature expert (just to show him that he is not wrong), make statements on social media even though the court has forbidden it. That you know you’re going to lose, you changed lawyers at the last minute. Come on.”
Politaik (@nasrulone) justified that Judge Abdul Rahman had only commented from the perspective of legal representation.
“Although Najib is in not in the habit of changing lawyers, his act of switching lawyers at the last minute was just a legal tactic to delay the process or create a perception that he was not represented.”
Netizen likeevalikeeve (@evaeveea) chided Ahmad for his “misplaced sympathy”. “Do you want to pay the 1MDB debt for him? Do you want to join Najib sitting in jail? Who said he’s being burden oppressed? Aren’t the people who have to bear the debt not being oppressed? He calls himself a Deputy Minister yet still behave that he owes Najib a favour.”
Last but not least, khairizam (@khairishith) suggested that Ahmad blamed “Najib’s ineffective bunch of lawyers”.
“They must have given him high hopes but didn’t do their work. This case has been going on for four years and the end saw them seeking another extension. Sorry, YB. Don’t play with the Federal Court.” April 3, 2023