Guest Editorial: PM Anwar Gives Agong ‘Green Light’ On Pardon For Najib

Former Prime Minister Najib, vying for Pardon, is one of the ‘Orang Besar Berempat’ as ‘Orang Kaya Indera Shah Bandar ke-11 (OKISB)’.

Murray Hunter

Not all people feel that former prime minister Najib Razak should remain in jail. There are many Malaysians who believe Najib should be given a pardon. To understand the reasons and arguments why, I have posted Joe Fernandez’ article which runs across all the issues those supporting a pardon for Najib would argue.

The stage is being set for Najib’s pardon, sometime in the future. One should not be surprised when that day occurs. There is a view circulating that the sooner Najib receives a pardon the better, so voters would have forgotten by the time the next election comes.

This is the case for a Najib pardon.

Agong can act on Pardon for former Prime Minister Najib Razak, with or without advice from Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim, and without giving reasons!

Commentary and Analysis . . . If we pen this commentary and analysis in January next year, when the Johor Sultan replaces the Pahang Sultan as Agong, the headline and sub-headline would most probably read as follows: Najib’s Pardon Johor Sultan’s first national duty priority.

Instead, we find that based on the grapevine and media that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has virtually given the “green light” on Pardon for former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak. That means the Agong, presently from Pahang, can Pardon Najib with or without the Prime Minister’s advice and without giving reasons and/or mitigating. The Pahang Sultan would be merely doing what the Johor Sultan, based on his own words, implied that he would do.

If a person is released, it doesn’t mean that he or she is innocent. It’s better to let a thousand guilty men go free, than hang an innocent man.

If a person is locked up, it doesn’t mean that he or she is guilty. Miscarriage of justice exists.

Najib wasn’t given the benefit of the doubt by the High Court although there was strong circumstantial evidence that fugitive fund manager Jho Low, perhaps inadvertently, put him in trouble with the authorities concerned.

The #JusticeForNajib Town Hall meeting on Saturday 30 September 2023 in Kuala Lumpur would be the focus for these and/or related matters of public concern and public interest.

It wasn’t so long ago that the Johor Sultan decreed that either Najib should be released or more people should join him in jail. The Sultan implied that dictatorial former Prime Minister Tun Mahathir Mohamad — “someone who was in power for 24 years” — should be in jail as well. Mahathir, 98, has been questioned by the police several times on alleged sedition and treason. So far, there are no signs that he will be hanged any time soon for alleged treason. Mahathir can be placed under house arrest or bundled into exile.

Convention Decides on Najib

It’s convention, taking its cue from the Constitution, that sees the Agong acting upon the advice of the Prime Minister. In this case, the convention — i.e. the working of the Constitution — and the Constitution are synonymous.

Anwar said that Agong has sole discretion on Pardon. That’s true but only upon the Prime Minister’s advice.

In practice, the PM can impress upon the Agong in various ways, but not in so many words, that Najib should be pardoned. Agong can act on Pardon for Najib with or without advice from the Prime Minister and without giving reasons.

The Prime Minister, based on opposition within the government, can’t be seen as recommending and/or advising Pardon for Najib lest DAP and even his PKR (Parti Keadilan Rakyat) would streak naked in the streets on Pardon for Najib. Umno can go for broke, win or lose, when Najib was freed and/or team up with PAS, Sabah and Sarawak.

There’s risk that Anthony Loke — hypocritically lesser mortal as Encik until he “retires” from politics — would run amok with other Encik in DAP on Pardon for Najib. The party, which literally worships the CCP in Beijing and PAP in Singapore, sees Umno as the 2nd Amanah — sponsored by DAP — in the unity government. The party’s carefully laid plans, since Singapore’s exit in 1965, would fall apart if Najib returns as Umno President.

Change to . . .

No Court Against Agong

Patently, nothing can be done against Agong if he acts without the PM’s advice on Pardon. Agong, although advised by backdoor PM Muhyiddin — Mahiaddin in birth cert — Yassin on Emergency, rejected it twice. No court in the world will go against Agong. The court of law was only about law. Pardon isn’t law.

Agong doesn’t explain Pardon.

The Thai King recently reduced former PM Thaksin Shinawatra’s eight year jail sentence by seven years. He explained nothing. Thaksin, according to media reports, will get parole after serving four months.

Guessing Game on Pardon

In any case, the guessing game has begun in earnest in the court of public opinion — it’s about cases in court or those that should be there — and social media on Najib’s Pardon. The media, mainstream and alternative, are in cahoots with the Bar Council and DAP against pardon for Najib after engaging in Trial by Media. They risk having Awards pulled back and being blacklisted by Protocol against entering the Istana. They could even be exiled from Kuala Lumpur and Pahang, and later Johor as well.

Federal Court Review Panel Head Judge Datuk Abdul Rahman Sebli ruled DNA (discharge and acquittal) for Najib on 31 March this year on the RM42m SRC International conviction. He ruled out retrial on the grounds that “it was pointless when there were so many transgressions against Najib”.

Najib was jailed, unrepresented, on August 23 last year by the Federal Court Appeal Panel headed by Chief Justice Tun Maimun Tuan Mat. She claimed, like Sultan, discretion beyond discretion. It was blatant violation of court procedures.

Discretion isn’t law. The court has no jurisdiction i.e. it’s not matter for judicial consideration and resolution. The court of law was only about law.

However, discretion does not exist if abuse of power can be proven.

There’s case law on abuse of power by Raja Azlan Shah. The recent Asian Arbitration case also refers.