The Real Issues On Najib In Jail Not In Any Forum

All other narratives on Najib in the media, social media and court of public perception, remains unmitigated vilification of the former Prime Minister, based not on the rule of law, the basis of the Constitution.

Commentary And Analysis . . . The real issues — flawed dates per se and therefore unsafe in law — on former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, jailed unrepresented on 23 August 2022, are not in any forum besides the New Malaysia Herald (NMH), here, here and here.

All other narratives on Najib in the media, social media and court of public perception, remains unmitigated vilification of the former Prime Minister, based not on the rule of law, the basis of the Constitution.

The Narratives began even before GE14 on 9 May 2018 in the form of Trial by Media by DAP in cahoots with dictatorial former Prime Minister Tun Mahathir Mohamad, but for Hidden Agenda which remain separate.

Real Issues

Najib must neutralise Karma i.e. raise the real issues in the right and proper forum — the Director-General of Prisons’ Dept and/or Home Minister, the Pardons’ Board, the pre-Council Meeting of Rulers, the Conference of Rulers, and the UN Review on Arbitrary Detention — for closure.

Najib’s Petition for UN Review, not directly on flawed dates, was reportedly before the 11 person Panel in early December. Thereafter, there has been nothing but discreet silence. Najib should follow-up by way of reminder.

We apologise for mentioning Karma. It isn’t superstition as public perceptions hold.

In the focus on the rule of law, Najib must first look at Karma. It’s Karma, in the form of legal incompetence, that put him in jail. The law, like Karma, does not exist. It only exists if we create it and it’s neither eternal law nor based on eternal truth as with the Word of God. No law no crime remains time-honoured principle in law. The court of law remains only about law and nothing else i.e. it’s not about ethics, moral values, theology, civilisational values including Malaysia Madani, sin, God, justice, righteousness or truth.

Najib Freedom

It’s difficult to see at the moment how and when Najib would be freed. It’s the “mother and father of all frustrations”. It’s true that there’s no place for emotions in law.

Again, the various dates on Najib in jail are flawed in law and hence unsafe.

Yet, these dates have not become issues in conflict in any forum except in NMH. Everyone has right of reply but no one has so far exercised it even in the usually vociferous whatsApp groups. There’s discreet silence and it’s deafening. The people may be disoriented, confused and in state of chaos.

Instead, Najib filed judicial review (JR) on 1 April on house arrest, in fighting Karma and perhaps creating more Karma. There was case mention on 4 April. Najib’s lawyer Tan Sri Shafee Abdullah pre-empted High Court Judge Datuk Amarjeet Singh striking out the judicial review. Lawyer Shafee, in surprising move, said that he had mystery witness with Affidavit.

The judge had no choice but concede. He set 17 April for case mention. Umno President Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi turned up as the mystery witness. The Affidavit claimed that he had sighted Agong’s Decree on house arrest on Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry Senator Tengku Zafrul Aziz’s mobile phone.

Therein the matter lies. More on the real issues later.


The Cabinet, the media has reported, will discuss the possibility of placing Najib under house arrest.

The consensus in Cabinet, based on information in the public domain, can only be about Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s response if Agong seeks advice on the house arrest issue. If the Cabinet takes any position, in taking the cue from Anwar’s public statements, it would be breach of protocol.

Agong, keeping the dignity of the state in mind as seen in the Constitution, would NEVER ask the Prime Minister for advice on any matter. It’s the Prime Minister who, unasked, advises the Agong.

The onus lies on Anwar as Prime Minister. He can advise the Agong on the house arrest.

However, this remains non-starter since the Decree on house arrest was granted by the previous Agong. If the same Agong had still been around, Anwar would not wag the tail on house arrest. He would be literally cringing, crawling, grovelling, and kissing Agong’s hand, as seen in the media. He knows which side the bread was buttered.

Ironically, Anwar has been reported as telling the international media that, if asked, he would advise the Agong that procedures must be followed, that Najib should be treated like any other citizen, and that he should only be placed under house arrest when there was closure on the 1MDB case. The Cabinet would be in consensus on what Anwar, in pre-emptive move, has already told the media.

Anwar, preaching about the Agong complying with procedures — whatever it means — was the height of insolence. Agong can sack the AG and remove the Prime Minister by other approaches.

The 1MDB case, now in the High Court, may be light years away from completion in Federal Court Review.

1MDB Not First Scam By Goldman Sachs . . .

1MDB wasn’t the first scam masterminded by Goldman Sachs in 3rd World countries.

There are well-documented case studies on other scams. These are used by management schools.

There’s case study on 1MDB.

Najib Haters

The pro-DAP Najib haters are not looking at the rule of law, the basis of the Constitution.

(Opinion isn’t law. There may be Opinion which will stand up in court.

Still, only the court can declare law.

Declarations are not remedies.

In law, if there are rights, there must be remedy.

Remedy will come when the court rules on decisions taken in Submission (it’s about law) by parties in dispute on issues in conflict.)

It’s irrelevant whether Najib stole or didn’t steal. The charges against him were not for stealing, anyway. The case, once concluded, will never be re-opened unless there’s ruling for retrial. The court was about closure. There’s closure when litigation ends.

Federal Court Review Panel Head Judge Abdul Rahman Sebli ruled DNA for Najib on 31 March 2023 on the grounds that there were many transgressions. He ruled out retrial, as pointless, for the same reason. Judge Sebli didn’t perfect the DNA ruling in the form of court Order.

The issue in the superior court wasn’t about the merits of the case. Nine judges in three courts having the same story was no longer the issue.

The issue was whether there was compliance on procedures, due process, and on the greater emphasis on the spirit of the law, albeit read with the letter of the law, on the rule of law.

Chief Justice (CJ) Tun Maimun Tuan Mat, in her own words, claimed Discretion beyond Discretion like latter-day Sultan. CJ isn’t Sultan.

Najib, based on the rule of law, should be freed immediately.

We can recall CJ Tun Richard Malanjum’s Farewell Address on the rule of law. He implied that Malaysia was not always about the rule of law.

Agong’s Discretion

Agong’s Discretion isn’t restricted by the Constitution. That was made clear by the High Court in Ipoh in declaring the Perak case law in 2009.

Sultan, being hereditary Ruler, has residual and reserve powers which confer Discretion beyond Discretion.

The jury may no longer be out on whether the unity government was hiding the Agong’s Decree on house arrest for Najib on the grounds that the matter wasn’t placed before the Pardons’ Board.

The halving of Najib’s sentence and RM50m fine was raised but only by Agong during the Pardons’ Board meeting on 29 January 2024.

Pardons’ Board would never recommend sentence halving, fine reduction and house arrest.

Also, Najib’s Petition before the Pardons’ Board was premature. The Petition could only have come before the Board, based on procedures arising from precedents, on 23 August 2026. The matter doesn’t involve halving of the jail sentence.

Najib would have been released, Pardon or no Pardon, on 23 August 2026 based on the full 12 year jail sentence.

Najib, based on the halving, merits remission i.e. one third off. He serves half the remaining sentence i.e. until 23 August THIS year.

Najib, house arrest or no house arrest, should be released on 23 August THIS year.

The Pardons’ Board letter, dated 29 January 2024, mentions no remission on the halving. That’s violation of Article 8 which states “no discrimination”, and Article 5 which states “right to life”.

Judge Amarjeet decides on June 5 whether Najib can be granted leave for JR. The Application for JR, in the usual and accepted departure from procedures, was filed on the same day as the leave application.


House arrest isn’t the issue.

The issue was remission based on the halving of the 12 year jail sentence.

Najib merits remission under Article 8 and Article 5 and based on the letter dated 29 January 2024 by the Pardons’ Board. The additional Decree by Agong, on house arrest, remains separate matter and probably non-issue. If government hides the Decree on house arrest, so be it.

Prime Minister Anwar and Attorney General (AG) Tan Sri Ahmad Terrirudin Mohd Salleh, one way or another, will have mud on the face. There may be constitutional crisis in the making.

Speaker Tan Sri Johari Abdul can declare Anwar’s seat vacant if proven that he was party to illegalities viz. virtually hiding Agong’s Decree on house arrest and thereby not upholding the Oath taken on the Constitution.

Najib should go home on 23 or 22 August THIS year, with or without Pardon.

He can Apply for Pardon, if the matter arises, after going home and having teh tarik kurang manis kaw at the Pavilion in Kuala Lumpur.

Najib, in fact, does not need Pardon since conviction wasn’t perfected in law for perfection in law.

Legally Incompetent

Najib, so far, hasn’t visited the possibility that the defence team was allegedly legally incompetent.

Local lawyers, lawyer in Singapore and two lawyers in India — all consulted by Najib — argued that the defence team was legally incompetent. The lawyers also said, in follow up in the media, that legal incompetence put Najib in jail.

Lawyer Hisyam Teh for example, during the Federal Court Appeal stage, could not argue Oral Submission on two or three points which the court could have brought up for ruling. He claimed that he needed three or four months for reading 30K documents. He discharged himself when denied.

CJ Maimun didn’t record the discharge and did not allow lawyer Hisyam exit from the court room. The CJ told him that he should shut up, but perhaps not in so many words, sit down and listen as the Prosecution made Oral Submission. Having discharged himself, he should not have turned up in court the next day.

Najib had no Submission during the Federal Court Appeal stage. Again, the conviction wasn’t perfected in law for perfection in law. The former Prime Minister was denied procedures, due process and the rule of law. In law, he’s political detainee, under arbitrary detention, being jailed unrepresented. He should not be in jail but under house arrest.

Najib has filed three Applications on abuse of power against Attorney General Tan Sri Tommy Thomas. Two have been knocked off on “technical” — read dubious — grounds. The 3rd Application has not been heard so far. — NMH

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Joe Fernandez
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.

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