One problem the PM seems bent on fixing – sending Najib and Rosmah to prison.
There are dozens of reasons why Mahathir has been flip-flopping from his initial promise to step down after serving 2 years as interim prime minister. First, the 94-year-old premier said he would honour an agreement by the four partners of the Pakatan Harapan (PH) alliance to step down after two years and hand over the country’s leadership to prime-minister-in-waiting Anwar Ibrahim.
Then the world’s oldest prime minister changed his mind, saying he might need more than 2 years. He said it could be more than 2 years, but definitely will not go beyond 3 years. Three years would be the maximum before leaving the most powerful office, says the old man. An extra year might not look a lot, but that’s actually 50% more than everyone had expected and anticipated.
Now, Mahathir says he will not step down until he has resolved the problems facing the country. Heck, he even declares that he’s the only best man for the job, as if he’s the one-eyed man in the land of the blind. The problems, which he thinks only he can fix, included recovering the billions lost through state fund 1MDB and finding fugitive Jho Low (Low Taek Jho).
The premier also wanted to stamp out corruption in the public service (despite the fact he told all and sundry in Oct 2018 that “corruption is now a thing of the past”). Amusingly, the man who once ruled with an iron fist for 22 years wished to see there is rule of law to protect the people. His other desire included Malaysia as a developed nation as envisaged under Vision 2020 (a vision that fails to materialise).
In reality, the country has tons of problems which can never be resolved even if Mahathir lives beyond 120 years old. Even if he could miraculously fix those problems, which he can’t thanks to over 60 years under the previous corrupt regime of Barisan Nasional, he can always create new problems to justify his stay in the office, can he not?
But there’s one problem that he seems to sincerely want to fix – sending former Prime Minister Najib Razak and his wife Rosmah Mansor to prison. As a bonus, Ahmad Zahid Hamidi would accompany his former boss to keep him entertained behind bars. To prove he’s not a racist, Mahathir also wanted Jho Low and Arul Kanda Kandasamy to be thrown into the same prison as Najib.
That explains why the High Court has ruled today that the joint trial of Najib and Arul will start as scheduled next Monday without any delay. Both crooks are jointly accused of tampering with the auditor-general’s final report on 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB). If convicted, both individuals are looking at a maximum 20-year jail term and a fine of at least 5 times the amount of gratification.
Had Jho Low surrendered himself, he would most likely be slapped with similar charges of 20-year jail term. It would be a marvellous sight to see Najib, Low and Arul each sent to prison for their despicable roles in the infamous 1MDB scandal. Mahathir is no longer amused at “delaying tactics” used by Najib and his crooked lawyer Shafee Abdullah.
The 1MDB trial has been postponed multiple times after Najib called in sick with swollen eyes, as did his hotshot lawyer Shafee when he blamed his dogs for injuring his hand. Over the past 18 months, Najib and his team of lawyers have wasted lots of valuable time, the commodity which Mahathir doesn’t have. Yes, the judiciary has been pressured to stop dancing to the Najib’s tune.
And pro-Najib cybertroopers, propagandists and bloggers were screaming until foaming at the mouth, accusing Mahathir of interfering in Najib’s SRC International trial to ensure the crook is convicted. They were upset and surprised at the decision of High Court Judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali that Najib Razak will have to defend himself against misappropriation of RM42 million from SRC.
While there was interference in the SRC trial, it was for a good cause. Unlike the good old time where the Kangaroo Court could be “influenced” – with the right price – by influential lawyer Shafee, this time the high court judge has delivered his verdict according to the rule of law. The arrogant Shafee who once said “we’ll have fun and the prosecution will have nightmares” is now in despair.
Delivering his decision on Monday (Nov 11), High Court Judge Mohd Nazlan said – “The accused (Najib Razak) had an interest in SRC, where he had total control, resulting in RM42 million being deposited into his accounts, which is a result of gratification. It is for the accused to rebut the evidence.” Clearly, the judge found it extremely hard to throw the case out of the windows.
Not only Najib was shocked that he had been ordered to enter his defence against all seven charges of abusing SRC International Sdn Bhd funds, the former premier was also shocked to learn that the joint trial of him and Arul Kanda will start as scheduled next Monday without any delay. He was indeed very shocked that the delaying tactic deployed previously doesn’t work anymore.
In actuality, Najib is toast and his team of top legal eagle knew it. The decision by the high court simply means the prosecution has successfully proven beyond a reasonable doubt that Najib is guilty of abuse of power and money laundering. Otherwise, the court would have thrown out the case, effectively acquit the former prime minister so that he can walk away a free man.
Instead, Najib Razak is now considered guilty unless proven innocent – thus the burden of proof is on the defendant, not the prosecutor, to prove that he is as innocent as a lamb. The prosecution team has to do nothing as they had done their job fabulously. Exactly how Najib could prove his innocence through a sworn statement, despite the stacks of solid proof against him, is beyond comprehension.
More importantly, if Najib falls, so will his top lawyer Shafee. After months of ridiculing, mocking and insulting the judiciary system and the prosecution team, the fat cat UMNO lawyer Shafee was arrested in Sept 2018 under Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001 (AMLA) and was slapped with two charges of money laundering.
Initially, Shafee rubbished the allegations that he had taken RM9.5 million from Najib – calling it “total nonsense”. After his arrest, the lawyer finally admitted that he did receive the money after all. His crappy story after being caught was that the money was payments for the 46 election petitions he had handled for the previous Barisan Nasional government from 2004 to 2006.
Apparently, on 11th September 2013, Najib paid Shafee RM4,300,000 from his AmBank account number ‘2112022011906’. Again, on 17th February 2014, the lawyer received RM5,200,000 from the same account. That same account has been identified as having been funded by money stolen by Najib from the 1MDB subsidiary SRC International.
Yes, there was interference in Najib’s SRC trial – to not entertain any request for delay in trials relating to 1MDB and its subsidiary, unless absolutely necessary, and to make right decisions without fear or favour. Still, as admitted by Najib’s top attorney Shafee, the defence team may take up to March or April next year before the trial is concluded.
However, the entire SRC International case may go on until after the next general election (2023), if it goes to the Court of Appeal and the Federal Court. The Federal Court is the highest court and the final appellate court in the country. If Najib is convicted at the present High Court, and he fails to argue his case up to the Federal Court, he will go to prison.
Here’s the juicy part. The case is on track to go beyond the two years of Mahathir’s premiership. And it increasingly looks possible that the case will drag beyond three years. Mahathir does not trust the indecisive and flip-flop Anwar Ibrahim would ensure rule of law is enforced to send Najib to prison. After being imprisoned by both Mahathir and Najib regimes, Anwar might have a soft spot for Najib.
In fact, it’s not an exaggeration to say that Najib is a bigger liar and a more cunning politician than Anwar. What Najib and Rosmah need to do is to rain praises to impress upon the narcissist Anwar and to stage some “crocodile tears” stunt to gain kind-hearted Wan Azizah’s sympathy, and voila, the crooks could be freed before Mahathir can buy his meal at McDonald’s.
Between Mahathir and Anwar, the former plays a very active role – even the mastermind – in bringing down Najib. Despite his advanced age, he had travelled to every remote Malay village that he could possibly find and talked passionately about how the son of Abdul Razak Hussein, the country’s second prime minister and the father of scandal-plagued Najib Razak, had stolen billions.
That partly explains why Mahathir said he will not step down until he has resolved the problems facing the country. He has made it his personal mission to send Najib and his wife Rosmah to prison. When Najib is securely imprisoned, all other crooks related to 1MDB will naturally fall as well. If Najib survives and wins the next general election, he will definitely hunt down Mahathir’s children.
Obviously, Mahathir didn’t come this far to see his protégé-turn-nemesis goes free due to incompetent and corrupt judges or politicians who do not have the determination to lock up the crook. It’s this determination that Najib and his lawyer Shafee should be afraid of. Mahathir has no plan to hand over his power, until he sees with his own eyes the imprisonment of Najib. – Finance Twitter