Post-Najib’s commutation: Expect the dust to settle down except for the few divisive and controversial figures

ALL allegations that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim had failed in his role as a reformer over the Pardons Board decision is nothing but a puff of hot air.

Former premier Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak’s lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah has recounted what happened between the Pardons Board and the former Yang Di-Pertuan Agong (YDPA), Al-Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah himself.

Another netizen on his ORAITNOPO Channel has also elaborated in great length his own observations:

What is interesting is that ordinary people could see the pardon offered to Najib was done at the prerogative of the YDPA himself, yet activists and lawyers are unwilling to accept the facts.

Contrary to what certain quarters had claimed, Shafee had revealed that the Pardons Board had advised the former Agong against granting Najib an unconditional pardon.

However, the former YDPA, on compassionate grounds, had exercised his prerogative to commute Najib’s sentence to six years instead of 12. Simple as that! The furore was, therefore, unnecessary and a waste of public time.

Anwar to continue on with his reforms

It would defy logic if Anwar or the Pardons Board had recommended a full pardon, knowing that the public would kick up a fuss over the pardons. The pardon would also inevitably raise the eyebrows of the international community because of the extent of the 1MDB scandal worldwide.

One senior lawyer Datuk Kenny Ng has put this nicely in his beautifully-crafted piece that both justice and mercy have their respective roles.

“Once justice finally ends at the Judiciary, then mercy begins with the King as the fountain of mercy, independent of both the Executive and Judiciary,” Ng wrote in a WhatsApp message that has gone viral.

He stated that “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.”

It is, therefore, reasonable to believe that the reformist PMX has been consistent with his push for reforms. It is not only him but in a number of government agencies, we are seeing that the heads of the police force, the MACC and a number of other institutions are now driving the reforms.

@malaysia_kini Ketua Polis Negara, Razarudin Husain menegaskan tindakan bakal dikenakan terhadap Ketua Polis Kontinjen dan Ketua Polis Daerah sekiranya segala arahan Bukit Aman tidak disampaikan kepada anggota dan pegawai bawahan mereka. Beliau berkata demikian ketika perjumpaan khas bersama Kepimpinan Tertinggi Polis Diraja Malaysia (PDRM) dan Ketua-ketua Polis Daerah (KPD) dari seluruh Semenanjung Malaysia di Dewan Ahmad Shah, Maktab PDRM, Cheras, Kuala Lumpur 1 Februari lepas. Sumber video: #malaysiakini #malaysianpolitics #fyp #KetuaPolisNegara #RazarudinHusain ♬ original sound – Malaysiakini

In fact, never in the history of this nation has any politician whether past or present, especially those carrying the title of Tun been charged in court for corruption.

This explains why the current Malaysia Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) commissioner Tan Sri Azam Baki has been retained by Anwar for the job.

Being pragmatic is important

Professor of Asian Studies at Tasmania University in Hobart Australia, James Chin said that Malaysians have to just move on.

Over Najib’s commuted sentence, he posted a tweet on X (formerly Tweeter) that there is really “nothing to see. We know already. Move on…”

Later, in an interview, Chin told FocusM that much of the fuss made by activists and netizens over Najib’s commutation is because people’s expectation of Anwar is “too high and unrealistic”.

People who want to reform the Pardons Board are speaking out of their ignorance, without understanding the intricacies involved. The Pardons Board is one of the prerogatives given to the Malay rulers as enshrined in the Federal Constitution.

To amend Clause 42 of the country’s apex law, Anwar would have to get the consent of the YDPA and his fellow brother rulers. It is too ignoramus to think that with 150 MPs now supporting Anwar, they can easily amend the amendment.

It is one thing being an armchair critic, but a different thing when one is in the position that Anwar is in as the country’s prime minister. Some reforms can happen overnight; other reforms will take months or even years. Collectively, we have to push for reforms within our circle of influence than putting all the burden on one person.

Time to unite

There is already too much politicking in the country. As pointed out by Chin, the Third Force is unlikely to rise by the next general election.

A fragmented society would do no good to the nation. It is time for Malaysians to unite once again to fight corruption, racism, religious extremism, and help re-build our nation. If Anwar has even extended his willingness to work with PAS, leaders from PAS should also reciprocate for the sake of this nation.

Thanks to the wisdom of Sultan Abdullah, if even both Pakatan Harapan and Barisan Nasional can learn to work together in the unity government; there is no reason why the Opposition cannot focus on improving better governance.

As rightly pointed out by Mohamad Kamal Hassan in his book “Corruption and Hypocrisy in Malay Muslim Politics: The Urgency of Moral-Ethical Transformation”, the political corruption and hypocrisy in Malay Muslim political culture and behaviour are at the lowest levels in Malaysian history.

We should no longer be carried away by the agenda of the corrupt, the controversial and the divisive characters. – Feb 12, 2024


Main pic credit: Utusan Malaysia 

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