There is no country that sees Najib’s trial as unfair.
UMNO president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi on Saturday (Aug 27) claimed that Najib Razak, his former boss, is a victim of political persecution, and has never asked for his charges to be dropped. In front of hundreds of the party leaders and members gathered for a special briefing at its headquarters, Zahid said they must call for a royal pardon for Mr Najib.
The president of the United Malays National Organization (UMNO) also tried to use the jailing of Najib to push for an immediate general election. Najib’s children – Mohd Nizar and Nooryana Najwa – were also present at the chest-thumping session, where they shamelessly praised their crooked daddy, along with Najib’s infamous wife, Rosmah Mansor – known as Imelda Marcos of Malaysia.
Shafee Abdullah and Zaid Ibrahim, two lawyers who represented Najib at the trial of SRC International – but lost spectacularly – also took to the stage at the grand UMNO meeting hall and repeated some of the boring arguments they had used in the Federal Court to defend the former disgraced prime minister. The mass party meeting was nothing but a gathering of the crooks.
Zahid, who is facing 47 charges related to corruption, money laundering and criminal breach of trust (CBT), had watched with his own eyes how merciless Chief Justice Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat – the first woman Chief Justice – slaughtered crooks who tried to waste judicial resources. He knew it’s a matter of time before he joins “Bossku” Najib as the Kajang Prison Complex’s newest inmate.
Rosmah, 70-year-old wife Najib, is expected to be convicted too when the High Court delivers its decision on September 1. While her case is not as explosive as her 69-year-old husband’s, there is sufficient evidence to convict her in the corruption trial linked to the RM1.25 billion Sarawak rural schools’ solar energy project and people will once again celebrate and rejoice.
Nooryana, who appears to have perfected her acting skills inherited from Drama King Najib, should win the Academy Awards in milking sympathy from hardcore supporters. Her drama included sharing some sob family stories, reading a letter from Najib behind bars (claiming again that he was not given a fair trial) and crying that his 70-year-old daddy should not be spending time in jail.
She has every reason to defend her father. After all, besides stealing people’s money to accommodate his wife’s lavish lifestyle (including a 22-carat pink diamond necklace worth US$23 million or RM100 million using money siphoned from 1MDB funds), Najib had also used dirty money to host her daughter Nooryana’s lavish wedding in 2015, where flowers alone cost RM3 million.
Both overrated UMNO lawyers, Shafee and Zaid, were giving excuses to justify why they had lost. In 2018, Shafee arrogantly said – “We’ll have fun and the prosecution will have nightmares”. The jailing of Najib proves that the so-called UMNO hotshot legal eagles could only win their arguments in a corrupted Kangaroo Court previously, when a single-party-dominant regime UMNO controlled the judiciary system.
While Nooryana wins the Oscars award for the best actress, Zahid was the clear winner for best actor. For an UMNO thug like him, it’s terribly hard to shed tears. But Zahid “Komedi” did it flawlessly. With voice choked with emotion, the UMNO president said – “My heart breaks when I look at the crowd and the person who was always with us is not here today”.
Exactly how did Ahmad Zahid Hamidi do it like one of the best K-Drama actors? Easy – he just needed to imagine how Tengku Maimun rejects all his attempts to delay the final appeal and sends him to prison. However, unlike Najib, Malaysia’s first political blue blood to be imprisoned, the 69-year-old Java-immigrant Zahid will not get any royal pardon if convicted.
If the above mass gathering drama looks and sounds familiar, that’s because Zahid and the Najib family of crooks were taking a page from Anwar Ibrahim. In April 1999, tens of thousands of protesters took to the streets after the former prime minister was convicted and sentenced to six years in jail, triggering violent street protests that raged for four days.
It was a second round of massive protest after Anwar led tens of thousands of supporters in September 1998 to protest against then-PM Mahathir, who sacked his deputy over dubious charges of sodomy. Malaysian police, armed with bamboo sticks, and riot police with shields and batons as well as plainclothes police with sticks, along with water cannon trucks, were deployed to contain the protests.
In August 2000, Anwar was convicted of sodomy and sentenced to nine years in prison. In April 2001, the Court of Appeal upheld his corruption conviction and he effectively lost his final appeal in the Federal Court in July 2002. The Court of Appeal upheld his sodomy conviction in April 2003, but stunningly freed him after the Federal Court acquitted him of sodomy in September 2004.
In April 2008, about 20,000 people gathered to welcome Anwar’s return to politics after his five-year ban expired as a result of his conviction for corruption in 2002. But in June 2008, Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan met then-Deputy Prime Minister Najib Razak at his residence to complain that he had been sodomized by Anwar Ibrahim. He was arrested and charged in the same year.
Najib became the 6th Prime Minister in March 2009. In January 2012, the High Court acquitted Anwar in the Sodomy II case, only to be overturned by the Court of Appeal in March 2014 and upheld by the Federal Court February 2015. Anwar was convicted largely because Najib felt threatened after Opposition Pakatan Harapan captured 52% of the popular vote in the May 2013 General Election.
As much as the Zahid and Najib families wanted to copy Anwar’s “Reformasi” movement, they can’t. As a start, Najib was convicted and sent to prison under his own UMNO government. The fact that the UMNO meeting was held in the comfortable air-conditioned hall, unlike tens of thousands of people who suffered police brutality in defending Anwar, shows which group has the genuine commitment.
Aside from shedding crocodile tears, the clueless and panicked Zahid had falsely claimed that Commonwealth nations will see Najib’s trial as unfair. In truth, not a single country was sorry about the former prime minister. When he was charged in 2018, hundreds of journalists – both domestic and foreign – broadcasted the biggest money heist of the century.
His ultimate final appeal this week, some four years since his trial of stealing RM42 million of public funds began, again saw global news media covering the story. However, there was neither a single country, nor news media that had expressed concern over the unfairness in Najib’s trial. On the contrary, foreign countries applauded how the top court created history by sending the first premier to jail.
In comparison, when Anwar lost his final appeal in 2015 under the Najib administration, the United States Embassy in Kuala Lumpur issued a statement – “The decision to prosecute Mr. Anwar, and his trial, have raised serious concerns regarding the rule of law and the independence of the courts”. But the US was not the only country that had followed closely the trial of Anwar.
Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, European Union, High Commission of Canada in Malaysia, Australia Foreign Ministry, British government and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights were some of foreign nations or observers who had questioned about judicial independence and had expressed deep concerns over the politically motivated proceedings under the abusive and archaic law.
Najib’s 1MDB scandal involved global investigation across three continents, where money was spent on high-end property, luxury goods and lavish holidays and parties involving Najib, his family and partner Jho Low. The US-DOJ investigation results say that over US$4.5 billion was misappropriated from the 1MDB fund, with some of the money used to buy a private jet, a super yacht, Picasso paintings, jewellery and real estate.
Like it or not, there is no country that sees Najib’s trial as unfair. In fact, former US attorney-general Jeff Sessions described the multi-billion-dollar corruption scandal involving former PM Najib as the worst form of kleptocracy. Only UMNO sees the crook as a victim. Even then – birds of the same feather flock together – only the Zahid faction in the party is defending Najib.
Worse, UMNO primary vote bank – ethnic Malays – was celebrating the jailing of Najib, whose “Malu apa bossku” (What’s the shame, my boss?) moniker was turned into jokes. Taking to social media, they said the ex-premier should not be ashamed of serving the jail sentence and stop being a hypocrite for condemning the same justice system which he had praised before.
In 2015, when the United Nations (UN) Working Group on Arbitrary Detention said Anwar Ibrahim was illegally jailed, the office of Prime Minister Najib Razak defended the judicial system, saying the verdict to jail opposition leader Anwar was reached by the courts “after exhaustive and comprehensive legal process had been followed over many years”.
Najib said – “The Federal Court judges will have upheld the Court of Appeal’s guilty verdict only after considering all the evidence. Malaysia has an independent judiciary – with many rulings going against senior government figures – and the government does not have the power or authority to overrule the decisions of the courts. Anwar was convicted of a crime, and this was a criminal, not a political case.”
Perhaps Najib and his family should blame karma or divine retribution. What Najib did to Anwar and his family in 2008 has now come back to haunt him and his family – “Don’t do unto others what you don’t want done unto you”. But in this case, it wasn’t Anwar who sent him to prison. Najib simply had run out of luck. You do the crime, you do the time. – Finance Twitter