THE last-ditch attempt to push for incarcerated former premier Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s pardon may make a mockery of the country’s law enforcement for he is only serving a 12-year jail sentence instead of a total 72 years after being convicted of all seven charges related to the misappropriation of RM42 mil of funds belonging to SRC International Sdn Bhd.
Human rights activist-cum-lawyer Charles Hector pointed out that the former Pekan MP has already being conferred “mercy” that the High Court ordered all his prison sentences for the seven offenses to be served at the same time instead of consecutively (this was later upheld by the Court of Appeal and the Federal Court).
To recap, Najib was sentenced to a 10-year jail term for each count of the three criminal breach of trust (CBT) offences under Section 409 of the Penal Code as well as 10 years jail for each of the three counts of money laundering under Section 4(1)(b) of the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001.
Additionally, he was sentenced to 12 years for the abuse of power charge which ultimately determined his jail term since it was the longest sentence.
“The world and Malaysians are watching for what happens next may have an impact on Malaysia and the country’s administration of justice,” contended Hector in his latest blog.
“The question that may be asked is whether Prime Minister (PM) Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s government is somehow ‘influencing’ investigation and/or prosecution of cases involving UMNO/BN (Barisan Nasional) leaders and their friends.”
“A case in point is the recent discontinuance of Deputy PM Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s trial even though the prosecution had already successfully proven a prima facie case for all 47 charges against the UMNO president.”
Hector further stressed that the manner the unity government act in Najib’s pardon exercise will impact the confidence of foreign investors or their perception towards the Malaysian law enforcement and its administration of justice.
“If it is not independent and professional, foreign investors may think that certain politicians and their family members/cronies are treated differently. They may be wondering if government or politician-linked companies also enjoy such benefits,” asserted the co-founder of NGO the Malaysians Against Death Penalty & Torture (MADPET).
“Concerns will be raised if foreign-owned companies and investors will get justice in the event of any dispute if their opponent is linked to politicians/political parties?
“This will eventually prompt many foreign companies to insert the clause that removes the jurisdiction of Malaysian courts as they prefer disputes to be heard in some foreign court or arbitration body.” – Feb 1, 2024