To Pardon Or Not To Pardon? That’s The Question

The Agong is busy with his farewell events. Apart from the anticipation of Najib’s pardon, there’s that dwindling rumour of a new PM in Hishamuddin. Whatever the case may be, as the tenure of Tunku Abdullah as Agong draws to a close, is anything unexpected likely to happen?, asks blogger Salahuddin Hisham 

The new Agong will come in end of the month. Getting louder is the conversation on Najib’s pardon but that is nothing new. Before the 15th general election, there was even the frivolous claim that there was a pre-planned pact between UMNO and PKR to form a coalition in which the pardon of former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak is part of the deal. 

Equally frivolous were the claims that Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi pulled the brakes for fear his release will end in them being toppled. However, the fanatics actually believed that Najib would be out to celebrate Hari Raya with his family last year. They grew more impatient on Najib’s first anniversary in prison.   

There is the expectation now that the present Agong would pardon Najib to avoid the embarrassment that his successor cum brother-in-law cum next Agong, Tuanku Ibrahim the Sultan of Johor will be the one to pardon Najib instead.


However, a source close to Agong said his Majesty will take into consideration the institution of the monarchy in his decision. 

More so, Tun Mahathir Mohamad seemed to rile up the audience of Malay NGOs to blame Malay rulers in a Seminar on Sunday on the historical signing of Pangkor Treaty made under British gunboat diplomacy 150 years ago. 

In no way it implies Mahathir and Tun Daim Zainuddin are fighting to secure a royal pardon for Najib. 

The one instrumental to imprison him for encroaching into their interest and to serve their political expediency will not be the helping hands. Only the gullible and disillusioned would fall for the ploy of the two cunning elders.

Take a break and go for vacation.

Read Joceline Tan’s take in Saturday’s Star Online here …


Joceline described the political aspect and sentiment within UMNO rather well, but a court decision and also a pardon is beyond politics and expectation of supporters and diehards.   

There are fanatics taking the view that if Anwar wanted to help, he would have helped. Rationalising that what use is power if he cannot use it to free Najib. If that is the line taken, such manner to pardon Najib by abusing power in the same manner as Mahathir should be opposed. 

The issue of Justice Datuk Nazlan Ghazali, the Federal Court rounding-up the bandwagon to defend a conflicted fellow brother and widespread conflict of interest by presiding and retired judges should be something for Anwar to pursue as part of his institutional reform. However, it may not be the single deciding factor to pardon Najib. 

So do the manner Chief Justice Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat rushed ahead without giving Najib the time of day in Federal Court to decide based on technicalities. 

The narrative has to be legally and politically correct.

On-going trials

Najib is still facing criminal trials for the 1MDB-Tanore case, IPIC case and money laundering of SRC or dubbed as SRC 2.0 case. He also has on-going issues with IRB. 

It will put the court and Agong in a bad light should he be convicted again after being pardon. At stake is the integrity of the Pardon Board and Agong together with the Prime Minister. Anwar fought for 25 years on his reformasi slogan, thus he cannot make a wrong decision and risk ruining his reputation on a major case. 

More so, the public still have reservations and the communications team of the government has failed to explain Zahid’s DNAA decision well. 

Despite being told by AGC insiders that Zahid was a lost cause, the prosecutor in court, Raja Rodzela failed to establish money in Yayasan Akal Budi was from illegal activities. 

Then there is the unprofessional behaviour of the prosecutor in both the Akal Budi and UKSB cases. Both the cases were politically motivated and inadequately investigated. A reliable source claimed it was put together in a hurry upon Zahid’s refusal to dissolve UMNO.     

It was strange for the judge to rule for prima facie


Nevertheless, Najib is not a total loss because he was acquitted in the Audit case. The DPP seemed unable to proceed on the IPIC case and a DNA is expected to be due. 

SRC 2.0 case will also not happen with the “real” IO, DPP, judge, judgement writer and case designer having passed on. There is a strong suspicion the case was never investigated in the first place. 

There was no plan to pardon Najib last Friday because it was DNAA for SRC 2.0, expected but the decision was postponed

From the development on the 1MDB-Tanore case, Najib should be acquitted. Key witnesses from MACC, PDRM and BNM, including the former Governor, tanked. The whole case rests on Jho Low as witness and he is nowhere to be found. 

Insya Allah, he will likely be acquitted. Be reminded that Roger Ng is in police lock-up and Jasmine Loo is under police protection. Both have been singing. 

With these developments, the civil case by 1MDB loosk ridiculous to proceed. More so when it is later established that 1MDB lawyer, Rosli Dahalan, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and others were in collusion to divert the compensation from Goldman Sachs in the billions! 

Left is the IRB cases, but there is no charge yet, thus it will depend on negotiation. 

Najib’s problem is the SRC case. It has exhausted all avenues for appeal and review. Pardon seems to be his only last hope of getting release, but he repeatedly insisted in seeking a retrial. 

If SRC 2.0 actually goes to trial, expect Tan Sri Zeti Aziz and Judge Nazlan to be called in to testify. Najib already made known that he intends to sue former AG, Tommy Thomas. More of the behind the scenes cloak and dagger manouvering by Mahathir, Daim, Tommy, Latheefa Koya etc will come to bear.  

Ball on Maimun’s leg and she is a member of the Pardons Board together with Anwar. 


In the meantime, Najib’s supporters should be realistically aware of the constraints and play their part to convince the public that there are justifiable causes for Agong to pardon Najib. 

The pardon of Najib can be the booster for the Kerajaan Perpaduan to woo back the UMNO and Malay voters, and cripple Bersatu, subsequently weakening PAS, led by the ailing Hadi and “locked” Tuan Ibrahim.

It serves to put Anwar’s reformation and Najib’s transformation plans into being. Anwar-Najib-Zahid is a game changing powerful force and a wave ready to be unleashed.

the Possible Game-changing Trio of Anwar, Zahid and Najib May Be the Spark Needed by the Unity Government  - Nmh Filepic
The possible game changing trio of Anwar Zahid and Najib may be the spark needed by the Unity Government NMH filepic

Off course, UMNO has to smartly analyse the situation, cast aside emotions, nostalgia of their past, and strategise and execute wisely. Its a different political landscape and voters demography out there. 


So …. Najib was not released in November, the seldom mentioned month to seekers of answer. It was merely a ploy to end any conversation on his release. 

It didn’t happen before December 14. Will it be before Tuanku Abdullah’s reign ends or under the reign of Tuanku Ibrahim? Or after Hari Raya?

Possibly, he could have his sentence lightened and serve a few more years before getting pardon. Or the pardon is already signed. 

Anything is possible. The verse 173 from surah Ali Imran of the glorious Al Quran is befitting: “For us Allah sufficeth, and He is the best disposer of affairs.” Always for the bigger and greater good. – NMH

Salahuddin Hisham has been a Blogger since December 2005 and commands the following blogs: Another Brick In Wall and Thick Brick.

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