Reveal justification for reduction of Najib’s jail term and fine

Najib Razak - BERNAMA

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The CSO Platform for Reform refers to the statement issued by the federal territories’ Pardons Board regarding the pardon for the former Prime Minister Najib Razak with full regret and further urges the board to reveal the justification for the pardon of 50% for the prison term, and 76% for the fine to be paid by Najib.

This action has indirectly caused the public to have less confidence in the aspect of transparency in handling the biggest corruption scandal that has ever happened in this country.

The “Madani” (civil and compassionate) government administered by Anwar Ibrahim should present the reason (for the 50% reduction in prison sentences and the 76% fine that Najib has to pay to the public) to show its transparency in fighting corruption.

This right is clearly enshrined in the Malaysian Constitution under Article 42(9), which mandates the disclosure of any written opinion submitted by the attorney general to the Agong.

In emphasising the public’s right to this information, it not only questions the transparency but also the critical aspect of upholding accountability in the legislative process.

Article 42(9) illustrates the legal recognition of the public’s right to access details related to the pardon proceedings, indirectly increasing public confidence in the pardons board.

Moreover, we believe that the importance of transparency in this regard goes beyond mere procedural compliance. The Pardons Board needs to function as a foundation in instilling the public trust in the pardon mechanism mandated by the Constitution.

In Najib’s situation, the aspect of transparency can be put into practice by fully disclosing the reasons behind his application so that it can give the public a clear understanding of the basis for obtaining the pardon.

READ MORE:  Najib's sentence reduction: Has mercy robbed justice from the nation?

Issuing this unjustified amnesty will have profound implications that go beyond its immediate impact on the individuals involved. Such an act would do great damage to the fundamental principles of the rule of law and erode the essential elements that underpin a just and stable society.

For example, an unjustified pardon would undermine the rule of law by marking a departure from the principles of accountability and equality before the law. The rule of law depends on the consistent and fair application of legal standards to all citizens.

When an amnesty lacks a clear justification, it introduces an element of arbitrariness, suggesting that certain individuals may be exempted from the consequences of the law without sufficient reason. This affects public trust in the justice and integrity of the legal system, creating a sense of injustice among the people.

The CSO Platform for Reform would like to emphasise that the law should never have double standards, which only continues to oppress the poor and help the elite.

In principle, the national Constitution is not only a legal principle, but it is also a guiding philosophy that forms the basis of the structure of a civilised society.

Consistent implementation is essential to ensure equality which in turn leads to continued social progress and economic development. The amnesty that was given as much as 50% of the punishment and 76% of the fines that had to be paid was a great blow to the Madani government under Anwar’s leadership regarding the aspects of transparency and accountability.

Questions will arise through the promises made by the Madani government before by starting the administration and managing them by eliminating the symptoms of corruption. How can Anwar’s government fulfil its promise by creating a clean government and restoring the public’s confidence in the credibility of the government? – CSO Platform for Reform

The views expressed in Aliran's media statements and the NGO statements we have endorsed reflect Aliran's official stand. Views and opinions expressed in other pieces published here do not necessarily reflect Aliran's official position.
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