Malaysia has never accepted nor practised the concept of plea bargaining, in which a criminal suspect offers to help the government in return for some concession to his advantage.
Plea bargaining is practised in the United States of America. Even then, it is about information that will give bigger gains to the government. It is not about returning stolen money. Most certainly, it is not about returning less than half the money stolen.
The concession given to Riza Aziz is unique. He will source it from the money seized by the Department of Justice (DoJ) of the United States of America.
Now, this money would, by agreement with the previous attorney-general (AG), be returned to Malaysia upon proof that it belongs to Malaysia.
So, what Riza is willing to return is less than half of the money that will be seized by the DoJ, which the department is going to return to Malaysia.
The bigger chunk of the money stolen by Riza will be retained by him. In other words, he is going to retain money stolen by him and be acquitted as well.
All the people involved in making this decision are protesting that they did not make the decision. Obviously, they know that the decision is wrong.
The public is disgusted and angry. Is this the kind of justice practised in Malaysia?
There is a new government in Malaysia. This government is in place because it has the support of people presently being tried for stealing money, for money laundering and for corruption.
We, in fact, have a government backed by people with criminal backgrounds. We cannot feel sure that justice will be upheld in this country because of the power and influence of these criminals.
Already, we are seeing Parliament being silenced. Democracy is dead.
But, it is okay. Your chosen representative supports the muzzling of the representatives of the people.
The whole world is laughing at Malaysia. The world labelled Malaysia as a kleptocracy (government of thieves) when Najib Razak was the prime minister.
There was recovery of the respect of the world when the people chose the coalition of opposition parties to form the government.
But now, the kleptocrats are back because the president of the party that pledged to overthrow Najib has brought him back.
And now that the kleptocrat is back, a practice unheard of in Malaysia has been used and is likely to offer to withdraw charges against other thieves if they will return a fraction of the money they had stolen.
Najib campaigns with the slogan “Why be ashamed of your boss being a thief?”. And, those Malaysians who now brought him back are truly not ashamed of bringing back a thief to be in the government. – TMI
The views expressed here are strictly those of the writer, former prime minister of Malaysia Dr Mahathir Mohamad.