Under the original 12 year jail sentence imposed by the High Court on the disputed RM42m SRC International conviction, former Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak would be free on 23 August 2026, however by Agong’s allegedly flawed Decree — unsafe in law — he may be freed, as per letter from Pardons’ Board, only on 23 August 2028!
Commentary And Analysis . . . At the very outset, it must be stated in no uncertain terms that there’s great risk, if sanity doesn’t prevail before 23 August this year, that former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak may be left worse off by the Petition for Full Pardon heard on 29 January. Agong halved the 12 year jail sentence, by Decree, on the disputed conviction involving the RM42m SRC International case. Najib’s RM210m fine was reduced. It now stands at RM50m, in default one year jail, running concurrently with the six years halved sentence.
Under the original 12 year jail sentence imposed by the High Court, Najib would be free on 23 August 2026 as per procedures i.e. four years after jailing. Four years would be shaved off for weekends, public holidays and good behaviour. Najib serves only half the remaining 8 year sentence.
However, based on Agong’s allegedly flawed Decree — unsafe in law — the former Prime Minister may only be freed, as per letter from the Pardons’ Board, on 23 August 2028.
If the Pardons’ Board maintains that Najib will only be eligible for early release and/or parole on 23 August 2028, after the 12 year jail sentence had been halved, that’s worse fate for the former Prime Minister.
Those who can access this external link can decide for themselves on the issues involved.
Emeritus Prof Dr Shad Saleem Faruqi, Holder of the Tunku Abdul Rahman Chair at the Faculty of Law, Universiti Malaya, says “the Najib camp may succeed in obtaining a discharge not amounting to acquittal (DNAA). The vicissitudes of the law are many and that opens up possibilities for parties on both sides of the political fence.”
Earlier, he said as follows, “under Section 43 of the Prisons Regulations 2000, a prisoner sentenced to a term of imprisonment exceeding one month may be granted remission of one-third of his sentence for good behaviour. However, this is subject to the terms of an order of the Pardons Board, and that order was to release him on 23 August 2028. So, the one-third remission rule cannot apply to Najib”.
It’s clear, based on the war of words on Najib in the regular media and the social media, that not many people in this country can probably count beyond their fingers and toes. Therein lies further proof on the state of mathematics, and related issues on the rule of law, in Malaysia. The habitual reading habit may no longer exist in the country. Many people probably comment on matters of public concern and public interest without reading too much and thereby pour further fuel on troubled waters.
American scientist and systems engineer Dr Shiva Ayyadurai, untouchable from India in his own words, has videos in YouTube where he makes comparisons between human beings and AI. The great majority of human beings, argues Dr Shiva, are robots i.e. unthinking and predictable.
If true, Najib’s defence team must exercise caution on what they place before the Agong at the Istana. It will be counter-productive if too much material was included. The case, based on merits, can’t be fought all over again. The focus must be on procedures, due process and the rule of law. There will be predictable output based on input.
Najib, based on the video, did not instruct lawyer Tan Sri Shafee Abdullah on filing Petition for Full Pardon.
The onus lies on Najib. He should send, on his own accord, letter of representation for Freedom by Agong’s Decree. It’s about Agong’s Discretion. If Agong discovers that there has been miscarriage of justice, there will be Declaration accordingly.
There’s supporting material for Najib’s letter of representation. There’s no court in the free world which can go against Agong on Najib’s case at the Istana.
Decree, Discretion, Conventions and Pardon are not law and there can be no law on these matters. These are not matters for judicial consideration and resolution unless abuse of power can be proven. It’s unthinkable that Agong will turn up in court on abuse of power charges. The court of law remains only about law.
The Najib haters in the media, unthinking animals which can be manipulated, note no difference between law on the one hand and the Agong’s Decree, based on Discretion, for Freedom and Agong’s Decree, based on Discretion, for Pardon. In fact, the media stories distort Agong’s Decree and/or mislead the people on the halving and fine reduction. Decree, Discretion and Pardon are not law.
The court of law, being only about law, has no jurisdiction on Decree and Discretion, whether for Freedom or Pardon. These are not matters for judicial consideration and resolution. However, Discretion no longer exists if abuse of power can be proven. Again, it’s unthinkable that Agong’s alleged abuse of power, implied by the media and ex-DAP MP Tony Pua, can be proven.
The figures backing former Prime Minister Najib’s release on 23 August this year, and the case for compensation for arbitrary detention, are in the following internal links.
The dispute on the 23 August 2024 release date, if any, can be resolved by the High Court. Najib’s family can file habeas corpus Application. The Ganja King case refers.
The UN Review on arbitrary detention, which just came before the 11 member Panel and will take some time, can only be based on fact-finding that the former Prime Minister was jailed, unrepresented, and that conviction on the RM42m SRC International case wasn’t perfected in law for perfection in law. Defence lawyer Tan Sri Shafee Abdullah gave the media update, on the UN Review, on 7 February.
Again, there’s case for compensation.
The UN Review will discover the RM42m SRC International case incomplete and merits 2nd Review. Patently, the AG could have filed the RM42m SRC International case as civil action. Criminal case can be instituted if civil action was challenged.
It has always been known that law was reading subject. In jurisprudence, it isn’t possible for anyone to know law even after all the reading. Still, law ultimately remains about the power of language, showing proof of wide reading, ability to cite, think on law and fathom the judge’s thinking.
The jury may no longer be out on whether people in Malaysia read before commenting, and whether the government and court uphold the rule of law, the basis of the Constitution.
It may be observed, based on past trends, that government pays lip service on the rule of law. However, it acts with impunity. Perhaps, the government belabours in the delusion that it can do whatever it wants, albeit on paper, unless restrained by the court.
Chief Justice (CJ) Tun Mainun bin Tuan Mat, for example, was appointed by dictatorial Prime Minister Tun Mahathir Mohamad, based on Attorney General (AG) Tan Sri Tommy Thomas’ recommendation. The appointment should have been made through the Judicial Appointments Commission (JAC). The “true confession” details are in the Thomas Memoirs, i.e. “My Story: Justice in the Wilderness”.
Of course, there’s no court in the free world which will injunct government. In Malaysia, the court doesn’t even pay lip service on the rule of law. It falls back on the letter of the law, by itself, as law, and allegedly acts with impunity. It does not mention the rule of law in Ruling. The letter of the law, by itself, isn’t law at all.
We can see in this video link that the court does not hesitate on accepting case law even where the principle in law was inapplicable.
The Church’s case for Allah in Bahasa print in the Herald, the weekly in three other languages as well, remains case in point.
If there’s lacuna (gap) in local law, case law from Commonwealth jurisdiction may provide Advisory Opinion for declaration of local case law.
In the Herald case, the Federal Court cited case law from India, although the principle in law differed.
Indian case law did not say that Ananda Marg devotees could not dance in public. The case law said that it was not inherent in Ananda Marg practice — an offshoot of Hinduism — to dance in the streets of Calcutta.
The Federal Court said that it was not inherent in Christianity to say Allah for God in Malay print in the Herald. In fact, Christian in Borneo have been saying Allah for God for hundreds of years.
Law exists, and has always existed, based on common sense, universal values and the principles of natural justice.
The rule of law isn’t legal term, but political, based on the ultimate political documents which set forth the governing institutions of state.
It was Trial by Media, making Najib the scapegoat for the 1MDB Phenomenon, that put Najib in jail. Agong knows that 1MDB failed when the IPO collapsed and imploded in the wake of the Trial by Media. Then, there was “too big to fail” Goldman Sachs which stagemanaged the 1MDB Phenomenon.
There’s interesting statement on the media by Julian Assange in the following link . . .
Extract from the link . . .
“Our number one enemy is ignorance.”
“Julian Assange suggests that most wars in the last 50 years stem from media lies, highlighting the distortion of truth in global conflicts. His statement underscores the critical role of media in shaping public perceptions and justifications for wars.”
The Media may be the pits. It can no longer be denied with Najib in jail. The Media denies right of reply, exercises self-censorship, imposes censorship, denies the right of reply to even their own content, deletes reader comments via AI, suspends subscription accounts and blocks email addresses and distorts court Ruling.
In the rule of law, the manner in which the accused was convicted comes first. The conviction follows if it has been perfected in law for perfection in law. There must be compliance with court procedures, due process, and the greater emphasis on the spirit of the law in the rule of law, albeit read with the letter of the law. The letter of the law, by itself, isn’t law at all.
Then, Federal Court Review Panel Head Judge Datuk Abdul Rahman Sebli ruled DNA (discharge and acquittal) for Najib on 31 March last year. There’s no retrial under DNA.
In law, a line must be drawn somewhere, lest Pandora’s Box opens. Pandora’s Box opened when Najib, as former Prime Minister, turned up in criminal court for “acts in office”. Under the Basic Features Doctrine (BFD), which permeates the Constitution, no precedents can be created on Prime Minister and Parliament for “acts in office”. They stand indemnified, have immunity, and implicit Pardon, lest future Prime Minister and Parliament run the risks. — NMH
Longtime Borneo watcher Joe Fernandez has been writing for many years on both sides of the Southeast Asia Sea. He should not be mistaken for a namesake formerly with the Daily Express in Kota Kinabalu. JF keeps a Blog under FernzTheGreat on the nature of human relationships.