From Asohan Aryaduray

Your Majesty,

As you know, Umno is seeking an audience with Your Majesty to request you grant a royal pardon to Datuk Seri Najib Razak. The party is basing it on the dissenting view of Justice Abdul Rahman Sebli, the Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak, in the Federal Court’s 4-1 majority decision to dismiss Najib’s bid for leave to review his conviction and sentence in the RM42mil SRC International Sdn Bhd case.

In their application, they will say things such as their party members being sad, asking you to show some compassion, and citing Najib’s “contributions” to the nation. They will also probably cite the need to ensure the current “unity government” is stable too.

Your Majesty,

With all due respect, they are attempting to gaslight you. What has to remain front and centre of your consideration is the Rule of Law in this country and the principle that no one is above it. That single dissenting view of one judge on whether Najib deserved yet another round of delays while his new lawyer – appointed in the 11th hour – got up to speed should remain that: merely a dissenting view. It does not undo the work and judgements of the 13 other judges over the entire legal process that finally led to Najib being jailed.

Even if Najib had been badly advised by Datuk Hisyam Teh Poh Teik – and assuming it was not a last-ditch attempt to game the system – that’s just the luck of the draw. This was not bad advice that led to a conviction – that verdict had already been delivered. At worst, it was just bad advice to try and delay final judgement based on a mere technicality, the granting of which would have merely seen justice delayed. And Your Majesty knows what they say about “justice delayed.”

As for his contributions to the nation, remember that he and his family gained far more than they gave. Remember all those luxurious holidays and obscene spending sprees, the hobnobbing with the world’s rich and powerful – all secure in the belief that they were untouchable. Granting a royal pardon will send a powerful signal to the nation that there is a class of people in Malaysia who are above the law and will always remain so.

Are his friends, family and some supporters saddened by the fact that this criminal is behind bars? Undoubtedly. Nearly all criminals have loved ones saddened by the fact that they are behind bars. It goes with the territory. It is no reason to subvert the course of justice.

But most of all, consider whether Najib deserves any compassion. He has shown neither remorse nor regret. His lawyers seemed to have used the ‘village idiot’ defence – he didn’t know what was going on, he was fooled by others, etc. This was a man who appointed himself Finance Minister. How could he have not known what was going on? Especially when independent and foreign media had such comprehensive coverage?

Your Majesty,

Actually, I agree with them in one respect. Do show some compassion. Have some compassion for the tens of millions of ordinary rakyat who deserve better – imagine how much good those billions of ringgit could have done for them. Have some compassion for the dozens of lives and careers Najib destroyed to protect himself. The top civil servants who feared for their lives after they raised red flags.

Have some compassion for the media outlets Najib shut down and the journalists he had arrested to try and stop coverage of the issue. Have some compassion for the victims of his sledgehammer use of criminal defamation laws to try and silence others. In the end, have some compassion for all those Malaysians struggling and fighting to make this nation a better place, a country where corruption and justice are not just shrugged aside for political considerations.

Daulat Tuanku