Sorry, No Royal Pardon For Najib – Here’re “5 Non-Political Reasons” Why The Crook Cannot Walk Away Free

Pin It

Jan 30 2024
Linked In

Exactly why should former Prime Minister Najib Razak be given a royal pardon after serving less than 2 years (17 months to be precise) out of 12 years jail term? If you ask his loyalists to give one reason – just one compelling reason – why the crook should be allowed to walk away free, they could only scream that he had been unfairly imprisoned and it was political persecution.


Sure, go to any prison and ask every convict, and chances are they will all claim innocence. Try to visit a mental institution and you can bet your last dollar that every patient will say he or she is not crazy. Ask ex-premiers like Mahathir Mohamad, Muhyiddin Yassin and Ismail Sabri, as well as ex-finance minister Daim Zainuddin, and they will swear that they didn’t steal a single penny.


So, why should outgoing King Sultan Abdullah of Pahang pardon Mr Najib at the eleventh hour before his reign as the country’s 16th Yang di-Pertuan Agong ends today (January 30)? Even if the monarch wants to do Najib one last favour, the Pardons Board must cook up at least one very convincing excuse. In truth, there isn’t any reason to pardon him except for political reason.

Najib Razak in Prison

Najib hardcore loyalists in the United Malays National Organization (UMNO), or those who had been expelled from the party but desperately wanted to rejoin, have offered an amusing excuse to pressure Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim to free the crook. They argued that Najib was the only saviour who could revitalise the ailing Malay nationalist party, which is dying under Zahid Hamidi’s current leadership.


That explains why pro-UMNO local daily Utusan Malaysia published – and retracted with an apology – that the Pardons Board had decided to grant Najib a royal pardon yesterday. Interestingly, the 80-year-old news media is owned by Media Mulia, which is linked to billionaire Syed Mokhtar Albukhary, whose tentacles included New Straits Times, Berita Harian, Harian Metro as well as TV stations – TV3, NTV7, TV9 and 8TV.


Despite huffing and puffing from Najib supporters, whose gravy train has been severely crippled under Anwar’s corruption crackdown, the King could not find an extraordinary reason to justify an early royal pardon for the man who has so far shown no remorse. But there are at least “five non-political reasons” why a pardon is impossible for the disgraced Najib.

Najib Razak - Sad After Bid To Review Conviction Rejected

First, crooked Najib has other charges which are still ongoing, so it does not make sense to even talk about pardons at this stage. The shameless former premier is serving a 12-year sentence after 3 courts and 9 judges (High Court – 1, Court of Appeal – 3, Federal Court – 5) all unanimously convicted him in the RM42 million SRC International corruption case.


He faces another three ongoing criminal cases. He is accused of illicitly receiving US$681 million (RM2.6 billion) of 1MDB funds via British Virgin Islands shell company Tanore Finance, laundering RM27 million belonging to SRC International, and committing breach of trust involving RM6.6 billion in government funds paid to Abu Dhabi’s government-owned International Petroleum Investment Company.


The tricky part is the King can only pardon Najib on the SRC International conviction, but not all the other ongoing trials. The monarch would look like a fool for pardoning Najib now, only for the court to find him guilty again for the subsequent criminal cases. Do you expect Sultan Abdullah to pardon Najib, and the next King – Sultan Ibrahim of Johor – to also pardon him later?

Agong King Sultan Abdullah - White

Second, royal pardons are only granted for criminal cases, but not bankruptcy. In Oct 2023, the Attorney-General’s Chambers said Najib and his son Nazifuddin had exhausted their final avenue to overturn the High Court’s decision compelling them to settle RM1.69 billion and RM37.6 million in unpaid taxes and penalties respectively, allowing the Inland Revenue Board to serve them with a bankruptcy notice.


Third, the Pardons Board – headed by the King and consists of the Attorney-General as well as the Federal Territories Minister and not more than three other members appointed by the King – must consider the reasonable amount of time that Najib had spent in jail. Generally, three years should be served before a prisoner’s conduct is reviewed (Najib had served only 17 months).


Fourth, the monarch would not want to damage his own reputation for rushing into pardoning Najib as it would lead to accusation of abuse of power, cronyism and hypocrisy. Najib holds the “Orang Kaya Indera Shahbandar” title, which he inherited from his late father. The title, which dates back about three centuries in 1722, was accorded to him by the Pahang palace by virtue of the title being hereditary.

Najib Razak Sent To Prison - Newspaper Headlines

The title is one of the four highest ranking nobles below the monarch – hence also known as the “Orang Besar Berempat”, loosely translates as “the four chiefs”. If Najib is granted pardon or immunity from corruption, Sultan Abdullah of Pahang will be a laughing stock as he previously had condemned corruption as against Islam and a cancer that could destroy civilisations.


Even if the King decides to cut short Najib’s 12-year jail term in order to facilitate an earlier release, it would trigger public anger over the Royal Institution’s interference in perverting the course of justice. In March 2023, the Federal Court in a 4-1 majority decision dismissed the former prime minister’s application to review the decision of the previous Federal Court upholding his conviction.


It was already bad that despite being a convicted criminal, Najib Razak was invited to the Palace for a special dinner during Ramadan on April 18, 2022 – raising eyebrows that the King was ready to grant a royal pardon to the crook. Not only he was invited to dine and wine with Sultan Abdullah, the crook was seated at the high table alongside then-PM Ismail Sabri, who in turn seated next to the monarch.

Dining With A Convicted Crook - Najib Razak and Agong King Sultan Abdullah

Fifth, pardoning Najib would also be seen as a slap in the face of incoming King Sultan Ibrahim of Johor, who vows to fight corruption by hunting all the corrupt people. Najib and Sultan Abdullah’s special relationship is a double-edged sword. It puts more pressure on the monarch not to abuse the power granted by the Federal Constitution to grant a pardon to convicts like Najib.


There won’t be any royal pardon for the crook because if there is, Utusan Malaysia would not have to delete its article and apologize for the fake news. The reason why the nation’s oldest Malay language daily, which ceased their print editions on 21 August 2019 due to the company’s financial woes and bankruptcy, published unverified news was to pressure the government to free Najib.


But why can’t the government release any official statement to deny the royal pardon, and passed the ball to the Pardons Board instead? That’s because PM Anwar Ibrahim does not want to create unnecessary friction with Najib loyalists due to the alliance between Pakatan Harapan and UMNO-led Barisan Nasional coalitions, who are now part of the Unity Government.

Anwar Ibrahim with Zahid Hamidi - Laughing

By repetitively trumpeting that the pardon is at the sole discretion of the King, Anwar-led government cleverly passed the ball to the Malay Ruler, making it difficult for Najib faction in UMNO to blame the prime minister or the government for not rescuing Najib. In reality, both Anwar and Zahid were playing “tai-chi” to keep Najib in prison for as long as possible.


The best part is it would be harder for the King Sultan Ibrahim to grant a royal pardon to corrupt crooks like Najib as the Johor monarch has even higher standard to maintain. Releasing Najib is not only political suicide for Anwar, it would create more political mess to the new Agong as the ambitious ex-premier will surely plot his political comeback.


Like it or not, Najib isn’t the saviour of UMNO, otherwise the Malay voters would have overwhelmingly voted for the party in the Nov 2022 General Election because only by winning big can he return to power. But Barisan Nasional did not win big, did it? Instead, it suffered the biggest defeat in history, capturing only 30 seats in the 222-seat Parliament.

Najib Razak Behind Bars - Prison Jail


Other Articles That May Interest You …

Pin It

FinanceTwitter SignOff
If you enjoyed this post, what shall you do next? Consider:

Like FinanceTwitter Tweet FinanceTwitter Subscribe Newsletter   Leave Comment Share With Others


Add your comment now.

Leave a Reply


(required)(will not be published)