Najib’s presence in court just as important as attendance in Parliament

Parliament may be supreme in making laws but the Judiciary is supreme in trying cases and reaching a verdict at its own time and own pace. Phlip Rodrigues writes.

When Dewan Rakyat speaker Azhar Azizan Harun wrote to the courts to seek postponement of Najib Abdul Razak’s 1MDB trial so that the Pekan MP could attend proceedings in Parliament, he stirred up a controversy.

The question that looms is: did he intrude into the domain of the Judiciary? Azhar denied he had crossed over to another independent arm of the government, but his action – writing a “request” letter to the judge hearing the Pekan MP’s case – has not been viewed favourably by some.

The fact remains that the Judiciary is as supreme and independent as Parliament, and no one should tell judges to postpone or speed up hearings.

It appears that Azhar is doing Najib a favour by “requesting” his attendance in Parliament. But are parliamentary proceedings more important than court hearings?

Azhar must know that Najib’s case is not an ordinary one, and neither is the accused an ordinary person.

Standing in the dock is the man who once ruled unchallenged until he was toppled from power and subsequently brought to trial over a case that has rocked and dragged Malaysia to the mud.

Such a leader is no longer a voice of respectability and influence in Parliament. What more can Najib contribute to the country after his downfall? Is he so indispensable that he must come to Parliament and take part in the debate?

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Najib may think the people want him to speak up for them, but is anyone keen to listen to him inside or outside Parliament, given his court case?

What the country eagerly wants to hear is what the court has to say about his alleged role in the 1MDB scandal. The case has been going on for a long time, which is not surprising, considering it is complicated, complex and mind-boggling.

The court should not be requested to delay Najib’s trial just because Azhar wants him in Parliament. The train of judicial thought should not be interrupted on the grounds that he is an MP and that his parliamentary duty overrides his court attendance.

It would have been better had Najib resigned from his parliamentary seat after being dealt a humiliating electoral blow. But he stayed on. With the change of government, he is digging in for a longer stay.

The 1MDB scandal is the biggest to hit the country. It overshadows all other cases mainly because the alleged central character is Najib. So, the court has to push on with his case without respite: it should not be requested to delay or postpone the hearing, even for a single day.

Parliament may be supreme in making laws, but the Judiciary is supreme in trying cases and reaching a verdict at its own time and own pace. These two branches of the government work well if they stay out of each other’s way.

Najib may think he carries on his shoulder a heavy responsibility because of his Pekan seat, but the issue is he has an ongoing court case and his presence in court is just as important. It would do him well to focus on his trial because his fate lies in the courts and not in Parliament.

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Phlip Rodrigues, a former journalist, is a keen observer of local events

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Rajaretnam Nadason
Rajaretnam Nadason
18 Jan 2021 1.56pm

When a person stands up and talks, he must have CREDIBILITY’. When an accused and convicted person talks, nobody except he himself listens. There is no excuse for postponing his court appearance over parliamentary presence, as he has no credible or worthy statements to make.

25 Jul 2020 11.29pm

I strongly suspect that the speaker must have [allegedly] acted on the instruction of Mahyudin because he needs full support of all PN MPs to get his bills approved.

25 Jul 2020 11.55am

1MDB is a horrible nightmare for all. As a ex-Pm, Najib as top leader is held responsible for allowing such a scandal to happen whether he steals or not, and answerable whether he knows or not by virtue of his posiion. Let justice prevail for the people are waiting to know. Nobody should intefere. No expediting for Parliament where justice is concerned. A stain remains a stain without interference on a white piece. The courts decides the outcome eventhough the judge is human.

loyal malaysian
loyal malaysian
25 Jul 2020 6.54am

“Goldman Sachs settles 1MDB scandal with Malaysia for $3.9bn” – BBC report on 24/7
Put in perspective, this shows how absurd Najib’s and his supporters’ claim that no money was stolen from our nation’s treasury.Goldman Sachs is no philanthropist outfit – the payment is to settle charges made against the company last year by the PH govt. and to protect the firm from future charges.

So, lest this backdoor govt. blows its own trumpet, let it be known that the deposed PH govt. do have a hand in recovering this amount that can now be used to feed the frogs and [political] leeches in Putrajaya.

Najib may yet be rehabilitated politically – such is earthly laws – but I believe in a higher power and I am sure he will be punished for [allegedly] stealing from the rakyat