The outcome of Najib’s SRC appeal will determine PPBM’s future
Either way, the fate of Perikatan Nasional, and by extension the fate of PPBM and PAS, will be impacted by the decision Najib takes regarding Umno’s relationship with PPBM. And this will affect Malaysian politics as well — because any weakening of Perikatan Nasional will strengthen Pakatan Harapan, meaning strengthen Anwar Ibrahim and DAP.
NO HOLDS BARRED
Raja Petra Kamarudin
Will Najib Tun Razak win or lose his SRC appeal? (READ MORE BELOW)
What many do not realise is this is not just about Najib but about the future of Malaysian politics as well. If Najib loses — no doubt he can still bring his case to the Federal Court — that would mean he cannot contest Umno’s party elections in four months’ time.
It is no secret that Najib wants to come back as Umno’s President (and as Malaysia’s Prime Minister after that). But he cannot do that if he loses his appeal. And even if he brings his case to the Federal Court, that cannot be settled by August 2021 when the party elections will be held.
Hence Najib needs to win his appeal or else the door back to the Umno presidency and prime ministership would be closed. And that door will remain open for only another few months — after which it will close forever.
Even if Umno postpones its party elections another 18 months till 2023, that will not help Najib because that door cannot remain open for two years. Two years is too long and many things are going to happen before that — GE15 being just one of them.
If Najib wins his appeal and he comes back to Umno as party president, he will make sure that Umno breaks with Perikatan Nasional for good. So Umno, PAS and Bersatu will no longer be friends and GE15 will be fought on a three-corner contest.
Najib may also form an electoral pact with Pakatan Harapan (or “loose coalition”) so that Barisan Nasional will not contest against Pakatan Harapan — or at least in most of the seats and “overlapping” seats may occur in just a few constituencies.
Either way, the fate of Perikatan Nasional, and by extension the fate of PPBM and PAS, will be impacted by the decision Najib takes regarding Umno’s relationship with PPBM. And this will affect Malaysian politics as well, because any weakening of Perikatan Nasional will strengthen Pakatan Harapan, meaning strengthen Anwar Ibrahim and DAP.
SRC appeal: After six days, defence wraps up case
(Bernama) – After six days, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s legal team today finally wrapped up its submissions on why the former prime minister should be freed from the 12-year jail sentence and RM210 million fine imposed on him by the Kuala Lumpur High Court last year.
They were supposed to have closed their arguments in the SRC International Sdn Bhd appeal last Thursday but requested for an extension to finish their case.
The hearing was initially fixed for 12 days from April 5 to 22, with four days each allotted to the defence and prosecution.
Both parties are also given two days each to make the final round of submission.
Throughout the six days of proceedings, 20 bundles of documents, containing over 2,000 pages related to the appeal, were served to court.
During the proceedings, Najib’s lawyers contended that trial judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali had committed grave errors in finding the former prime minister guilty of abuse of power, criminal breach of trust and money laundering involving RM42 million of SRC International funds.
The defence team maintained that Mohd Nazlan had misdirected himself on several issues of law when convicting Najib in July last year.
Earlier today, Najib’s lawyer Farhan Read submitted that the trial judge appeared “motivated” to hold the former prime minister to account.
“Fact of the matter is that the only person left in Malaysia that the judge could hold accountable in the case is Najib. Key players namely Jho Low and Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil have fled the jurisdiction.
“The desire of the learned judge to hold somebody accountable is understandable as this (RM42 million in SRC funds) is a loss to Malaysia, but it is misplaced to lump it on the head of the person left behind.
“We can sympathise with the trial judge and the struggle he must face as he was put under the spotlight due to the case of the century. But we cannot sanctify his lordship’s assessment of the evidence (in the SRC case), nevertheless,“ he said.
The court was told that Najib did not know that RM42 million was channelled from SRC into his bank accounts as he believed that the money in his Ambank accounts was the remainder of donations from the Saudi royal family.
Tomorrow, all eyes will be on ad hoc prosecutor Datuk V. Sithambaram as the top criminal lawyer would start his submissions.
The appeal is being heard by a three-member bench, chaired by Judge Datuk Abdul Karim Abdul Jalil, with Justices Datuk Has Zanah Mehat and Vazeer Alam as members.
The Kuala Lumpur High Court had on July 28 last year sentenced Najib to 12 years’ jail and a RM210 million fine after finding him guilty on seven charges of criminal breach of trust, money laundering and abuse of position, involving RM42 million in SRC International funds.