Penang must be in the national forefront to defend the Federal Court and nine judges who unanimously agreed to Najib’s conviction for corruption and sentence of 12 years’ jail and RM210 million fine

The Chief Justice of Malaysia, Tun Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat has asked Malaysians, particularly politicians, to read the judgements of cases before criticising judges over the decisions.

After attending the second National Litigation Conference 2022 in Kuala Lumpur yesterday, she noted criticism of the Federal Court’s decision last month to uphold the conviction of Najib Razak.

She said the reasons for doing so were clearly laid out in the written judgment.

She said the comments attacking the court’s decision were only based on mere sentiments and some of those attacking the judiciary appeared to not have read the judgments of the cases they were disputing.

Still others appeared to not understand the law related to those cases, which she said led to them issuing statements that were irrelevant

The Chief Justice said that the misguided criticism in the attacks stemmed from failing to read and understand the judges’ rationale for their decision in the Federal Court on August 23 to uphold Najib’s conviction and sentence of 12 years’ imprisonment along with a RM210 million fine.

Tengku Maimun, who chaired a five-judge Federal Court panel that dismissed Najib’s final appeal against his SRC International Sdn Bhd graft conviction, said it was unfair if politicians jump to conclusions and issue statements without understanding and this will only lead to chaos.

The Chief Justice’s comments is most pertinent and relevant, for the first time in Malaysia’s 15 general elections, an important issue will be whether Najib is freed from jail and all the corruption charges.

UMNO leaders, from the UMNO Presidient, Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, onwards, want Najib to be immediately pardoned and freed of all corruption charges

This was made clear in the special briefing to UMNO delegates held in the weekend that Najib was sent to jail.

In the special address to UMNO delegates on August 27, Zahid pushed strongly for the general election to be held soon as well as a campaign to pardon Najib.

Zahid said Umno’s insistence on an early general election was a decision made by the entire party leadership and was not decided unilaterally to save himself from his court case.

“I would like to remind once again that all these demands are Umno’s insistence as a party that fights for the interests of its members and the rakyat.

“It’s not specifically for the interests of any individual Umno member or leader at all. The benefit of the demands is for all races in Malaysia.”

Zahid is very wrong. Both the two UMNO demands are not in the interests of the Malays or of all races.

Zahid had said in August 2015 that he had met the royal Arab donor who had donated RM2.6 billion to Najib.

Two questions arises: Firstly, why he did not appear as a witness to testify in Najib’s trial on the former Prime Minister’s behalf, unless the story was a concocted one.

Secondly, if the donation had come from the Arab royalty for admiration for Najib’s policies, why didn’t the Arab royalty indicate that it was their donation and it was unfair to jail a former Prime Minister for it?

The next 15th General Election will, among other things, between the political parties which support kleptocracy and political parties which oppose kleptocracy.

It is significant that not a single political party in the two backdoor government coalitions which toppled the Pakatan Harapan government after 22 months in the Sheraton Move political conspiracy had ever condemned the 1MDB scandal and other UMNO scandals like the Tabung Haji and Felda scandals.

The next general election will decide whether Malaysia can be saved from kleptocracy, kakistocracy, a rogue and a failed state, ending like Sri Lanka.

Penang must be in the national forefront to defend the Federal Court and nine judges who unanimously agreed to Najib’s conviction for corruption and sentence of 12 years’ jail and RM210 million fine.

Penang must play a leading role in this salvation of Malaysia to become a world-class great plural nation, to uphold to rule of law and good governance principles which are important elements in the national reset to return to the nation-building principles and policies as embedded in the Constitution and Rukun Negara.

Lim Kit Siang MP for Iskandar Puteri