Court of Appeal judgement reinforces hope that it is possible to get rid of kleptocracy and for Malaysia to become a world-class great nation before 2057 but this is through a “Malaysian First” people’s movement but not through Ismail Sabri’s “Keluarga Malaysia” concept

There is a deep sigh of national relief when it is known the Court of Appeal has unanimously rejected the appeal of former Prime Minister, Najib Razak against his conviction and sentence to 12 years’ jail and RM210 million fine for seven charges linked to the RM42 million of SRC International Sdn. Bhd. funds.

In delivering the ruling, Justice Abdul Karim Abdul Jalil said the Court of Appeal agreed with trial judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali’s finding that Najib had personal interest for the cabinet to approve a government guarantee for a RM4 billion loan from Retirement Fund Inc to SRC International.

He ruled that Najib’s action in relation to the RM4 billion loan to SRC was not for national interest but for personal benefit.

“There’s no national interest when RM42 million was transferred into Najib’s accounts. Only a national embarrassment,” said Karim as he read out the unanimous decision.

However, we must be mindful that there is constituency of Malaysians who were rooting for Najib’s conviction to be quashed so that a full-blown campaign can be launched for Najib to become the 10th Prime Minister of Malaysia in the 15th General Election.

A lot of preparation have been made for this campaign of misinformation, lies and falsehood on the social media, including the buying over of online and printed media personalities to launch an unprecedented demonization against Najib’s “opponents”.

Now this campaign for Najib become the 10th Prime Minister has been jammed but there will still be attempts to resuscitate it.

Fortuitously, yesterday’s was the First 100 Days for Ismail Sabri’s Cabinet although Ismail Sabri’s own First 100 Days as the ninth Prime Minister of Malaysia fell nine days earlier on Nov. 29, 2021.

If I am asked to mark the First 100 Days of Ismail Sabri’s Cabinet, I will give a failure grade, although it never fell to the level of a “failed government” as in the Muhyiddin administration.

The Court of Appeal judgment this morning is a bright star in the dark firmament, restoring the people’s faith not only in the rule of law and the independence of the judiciary, but also of hope that it is possible to get rid of kleptoctracy and successfully fight corruption in Malaysia.

But this must be through a “Malaysian First” people’s movement but not through Prime Minister’s Ismail Sabri’s “Keluarga Malaysia” concept.

The Court of Appeal decision gives hope that a Malaysian First Movement for the country to become a world-class great nation which is not overtaken by one nation after another through the decades, whether in international competitiveness, good governance or an effective and efficient government, before Malaysia’s Centennial in 2057 – to get out of the trajectory of decline - is not an impossible dream and vision.

Lim Kit Siang MP for Iskandar Puteri