“On Najib’s 50% jail term discount and 76% discount on fine”

THE bomb has finally been dropped!

After keeping the nation in suspense for several days, the Pardons Board has finally announced that former premier Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s sentence has been given a 50% reduction – from 12 years to six – and his fine reduced from RM210 mil to a mere RM50 mil!

Why should the Pardons Board give this convicted thief of the people’s money such a hefty discount in his jail term? Why should they help this convicted thief save so much money?

That money, after all, belongs to the people and should by right be returned to the people.

Instead, he has been saved from returning RM160 mil. That works out to an unacceptable discount of 76%!

This is, to say the least, ridiculous.

In fact, people outside the country are already laughing at us. Najib got a half-price discount, they deride. He clicked a promo code and got it, they jibe.

That sounds comic but what it purports is serious. It exposes to us that a serious matter, i.e. the conviction through proper judicial process of a man who stole millions from the people, has been trivialised.

The learned judges who sat in judgement of the case have been insulted and their opinion degraded.

What’s more tragic is that this move by the Pardons Board was aided and abetted by higher beings.

As such, it will not bode well for this country. No good will come out of this travesty of justice. It erodes our values. We stand in danger of not being able to distinguish wrong from right.

What has transpired encourages us to distrust the law. It tempts us to follow the example set by the leadership of higher beings.

As my friend points out, why should we now have to pay a fine if, for instance, we are caught for parking illegally? Why can’t we be absolved? What is our offence compared to stealing millions of the people’s money?

And what about all those nobodies who have been convicted of minor crimes and offences? Why not commute their sentences too? Shouldn’t those who steal a tin of Milo or RM50 from someone else in order to feed their family be totally pardoned?

Why should Najib be given special treatment instead of being considered a common thief like the others? Where is the fairness and morality in that?

Let us hope that even if fairness and morality are now compromised, we can still depend on our judiciary to preserve justice.

The lesson that judges who may in the immediate future convict Najib and sentence him to jail for his other ongoing cases could learn from the Pardons Board deed is this:

From now on, they may have to hand Najib heftier jail sentences in case those sentences later get discounted as well! – Feb 2, 2023


Political critic and veteran journalist Kee Thuan Chye is also the author of Ask for No Bullshit, Get Some More! (sequel to No More Bullshit, Please, We’re All Malaysians).

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

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