The convicted felon, Najib Abdul Razak, and his team of lawyers have tried to stymie the Malaysian justice system while holding the nation to ransom.
When the Federal Court rejected Najib’s bid to seek an adjournment of the main SRC appeal hearing for several months, his lawyers then tried to shift the blame to the panel of judges.
Najib and his lawyers used emotive words which ranged from “shock and bitterly disappointed,” to “there is no respect for people like us,” “the court was not sympathetic,” “the court failed to exercise its discretion” and “people are flippant and cavalier for us old folks at the bar.”
Basically, they were trying anything that popped into their heads to try to manipulate people to side with Najib.
These lawyers were Najib’s last-minute appointees. They were aware that hearing had been set for August 15-26.
If they did not think they could be ready, then they should not have offered to take on his case.
The lawyers were ill-prepared. Is this another of Najib’s attempts to sow confusion among the rakyat and try to paint the judiciary in a bad light?
However, there is one way to call Najib’s bluff; and that is to tell him that a postponement is permissible, but his bail will be revoked and he must go to prison now while his lawyers prepare the appeal.
We will probably find that Najib will have no hesitation in continuing the hearing as normal.
With his privileged background, Najib, who is also the son of a former prime minister, is often treated like royalty. He is used to getting things done his way.
On August 16, he received his comeuppance when the panel of judges rejected his application to adduce fresh evidence for his RM42 million SRC International corruption case.
They also quashed his bid to seek an adjournment of several months.
Najib claimed that he wanted to show the court the “truth of the matter.”
The irony is that the “truth of the matter” is that Najib should be locked up.
Many members of the public used to kowtow to him in the past, and he was pampered by both his supporters and the royalty.
The rejection of his applications must have seemed like a slap in Najib’s face, and it showed. He acted like a spoilt brat.
The statements he gave the press showed that he was self-centered, and was focused more on himself than on the nation.
His sense of entitlement was clear, and he expected others to give him special favors and treatment.
Nevertheless, Najib’s final appeal means different things to different groups of people.
The nation wants to move forwards, but Najib is the main obstacle for our divided nation to heal.
What it means for Najib. Although this final appeal is to avoid prison, Najib knows that he has nothing to lose and will try anything, even if it makes him look stupid, as long as he can delay his eventual imprisonment, or better still, overturn his conviction.
However, trying to engineer another delay will only prolong his torture. He should accept the final outcome and just go to prison. He should just get it over and done with.
He was convicted in the High Court and the verdict and sentence was upheld by the court of Appeal.
The faster Najib serves his time in prison, the better it is for his mental health, and the faster it is for the nation to heal.
Despite all the evidence stacked against him, he has not expressed an iota of regret or remorse.
He is more focused on himself and not on the damage this long drawn-out, high profile case of mega corruption is destroying the reputation and standing of Malaysia on the world stage.
For his political allies. During his tenure as PM, members of his own cabinet also lied on Najib’s behalf, but a former deputy PM who questioned Najib’s role in 1MDB, and an attorney-general who was preparing the papers to arrest Najib, were sacked.
Many in the civil service who knew about Najib and 1MDB kept quiet.
This final appeal may also mean that when Najib is imprisoned, the spotlight will shift onto these people.
The courts will be kept busy.
For Najib’s family and cronies. When Najib is jailed, the myth that the political elite are untouchable will be shattered. His family need only blame two people: Najib, for being greedy and dishonest, and themselves for believing Najib’s lies.
Didn’t they also benefit from Najib’s ill gotten wealth?
Greed destroyed Najib. His insatiable lust for power and money was also the downfall of Malaysia.
For Najib’s newly appointed lawyers. The ordinary person does not normally have the financial means or clout to delay their trials, whereas Najib and his team of lawyers have tried several tactics to avoid justice: from sore eyes, to sickness, to his lawyer’s ill-tempered dog, and his lawyer’s son’s marriage.
Zaid, one of Najib’s lawyers, said that he felt sorry for Najib’s family.
Did he or Najib feel sorry for the rakyat whose money was stolen? This money could have enriched the lives of Malaysians. Instead, Najib’s profligacy has also kept foreign investors away.
Unsurprisingly, Najib has failed to express remorse for his role in 1MDB.
What was Zaid suggesting when he said “if justice cannot be obtained in the court, it can be obtained elsewhere?” Is he referring to a royal pardon or that “Cash is King?”
For the judiciary. Najib may be the man in the dock, but in reality, it is the justice system that is on trial.
When his application for a delay was rejected, Najib attempted to discredit the judiciary.
He has forgotten that from day one, the judiciary has bent over backwards to accommodate him.
At the same time, the judiciary realizes that the rakyat are at breaking point. If public order is to be maintained, justice must be seen to be served.
For the rakyat. Najib stole from the nation and now the rakyat have had enough of his lengthy dramas.
He committed several crimes and Malaysians want to see justice being done.
They want the country’s reputation to be restored so that public confidence and trust in the administration can be improved.
Najib abused his powers and lied to save his skin.
The nation wants to move forwards, but he is the main obstacle for our divided nation to heal.
- Malaysiakini: Najib ‘shocked and disappointed’ over unfavorable ruling
(Mariam Mokhtar is a Freelance Writer.)