Home TA Online To jail or not to jail? Crunch time for Najib

To jail or not to jail? Crunch time for Najib

Will we ever have a 'clean' government?

Prisoner Najib Razak

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By jem

The Federal Court has begun hearing Najib Razak’s appeal to quash his conviction and jail sentence in the RM42m SRC International corruption case.

Remember, this is just the SRC International corruption case. The 1MDB case is still hanging in the air!

The High Court found Najib guilty in 2020. The appeals court upheld his conviction, and he is now facing the Federal Court.

Najib got rid of his previous team and appointed a new set of lawyers. They have purportedly come up with amendments and additional evidence to convince the judges he has been ‘wronged’.

It was great news that the Federal Court dismissed the request by Najib’s legal team to postpone the hearing for three months on the pretext that they needed more time to prepare.  

Chief Justice Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat dismissed the request, saying Najib had known since April his case would be heard from 16 August. Having known this, Najib still chose to dismiss his former lawyers and appointed a new team – which is his right.

But Tengku Maimun said the new lawyers, having accepted the brief are “not entitled to say they need more time to prepare, knowing fully well that the dates had been fixed well in advance”.

Wow! It looks like there will be no more excuses and we might just get a verdict soon, after all. Unless somebody falls ill from Covid or something to that effect!

If Najib’s new set of lawyers have no more rabbits to pull out of the hat, if the judges are astute enough to see through any further manoeuvrings, and if Mr ‘Bossku’ is actually sentenced with no more hope of appeal, will he actually do jail time?

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Will his lawyers look for other ways to stop this from happening by coming up with other excuses, such as his age or mental health?

Or is there already in the works a move to secure a pardon? If so, will this also apply to Zahid Hamidi and others?

We shall have to wait and see. Stranger things have happened in Malaysian politics.

More scandals

Lately, the media seem to be uncovering corruption scandals. These were probably there all the time but were never ‘discovered’ or they could have been ‘covered up’.

The latest one’s a real doozy! Boustead Naval Shipyard (BNS), the main contractor for a project controlled by the Armed Forces Fund Board (LTAT), was commissioned in 2011 to build six littoral combat ships for the Navy. Imagine paying RM9bn for six combat ships and none were delivered – even though RM6bn was already paid to the contractors. No ships delivered at all!

Where did all those billions disappear to and into whose bank accounts? Fingers have pointed at top leaders, including certain ministers. A big gun in the Navy is reportedly implicated as well.

Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob has pledged to carry out a public and transparent probe into the alleged misappropriations.

We’ll all have to wait and watch with bated breath, as this move could open a can of worms. It is a “high-risk gambit that could backfire” on the ruling Umno and government.

Or will the PM backtrack on this pledge?

Another episode concerns an RM854m weapons purchase made through direct negotiations. PKR information chief Fahmi Fadzil has asked Finance Minister Tengku Zaiful Aziz to respond to this allegation.

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From the non-arrival of the six combat ships and now to a lot of weaponry bought without tender – what else will be uncovered in the days and weeks to come?

The people who are involved in all these corruption cases are those in high echelons of office whose thirst for power and possessions knows no bounds. For them, ethics and morality are unimportant because these are deemed counterproductive, a threat to their lifestyles. And so, power and greed have corroded ethics.

What has happened to this country and its government? When did its leaders fall foul to this insidious ‘love affair’ with corruption?

Was it there all along but so well covered up that we, the people, did not figure it out? Now we know differently.

If the Malaysian government does not rein in corruption at all levels of government and involving government-linked companies, we could end up like Sri Lanka.

Will this be a lesson for all the political parties in Malaysia to clean up their act?

It is a great achievement to have the ‘anti-hopping’ law passed and approved to deter elected representatives from crossing the aisle.

But that is just one small step. Many have suggested that all political parties should rid themselves of those tainted by corruption – in any way, shape or form.

This is a huge ask and not a task political leaders would like to take on. But it should be a criterion in all parties [see the People’s Agenda, item 5], even if it may not be possible for the coming general election.

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Let’s hope there might soon be a party that the people can vote for – a party unsullied by claims of corruption.

Wouldn’t that be a change for the better?

jem, an Aliran reader, still cares deeply about Sabah, despite having lived in the peninsula for some time

The views expressed in Aliran's media statements and the NGO statements we have endorsed reflect Aliran's official stand. Views and opinions expressed in other pieces published here do not necessarily reflect Aliran's official position.

AGENDA RAKYAT - Lima perkara utama
  1. Tegakkan maruah serta kualiti kehidupan rakyat
  2. Galakkan pembangunan saksama, lestari serta tangani krisis alam sekitar
  3. Raikan kerencaman dan keterangkuman
  4. Selamatkan demokrasi dan angkatkan keluhuran undang-undang
  5. Lawan rasuah dan kronisme
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