By K Veeriah
As a layperson, I find it hard to fathom why certain quarters find it difficult to accept the learned trial judge’s acquittal of Umno president Zahid Hamidi – rightly or otherwise – of charges of receiving bribes totalling RM42m.
Though I am inclined to believe that Zahid is no angel, I am also inclined to accept the judicial pronouncement, as we ought to place our trust in the judiciary’s integrity, regardless of whether we feel the decision is apt.
Zahid had earlier complained about a Federal Court decision in the Najib Razak SRC International case, which he felt could “erode the integrity of the judiciary“. He had also claimed that he and other Barisan Nasional leaders, including Najib, were victims of “selective persecution“. He said what happened to Najib was political revenge.
But that was then. After he was acquitted, Zahid waxed lyrical about how he had all along placed his undivided faith in the judiciary since “day one” of his trial – a case of ‘selective amnesia’ about his earlier remarks.
Viewing Zahid’s changed stance, the dictum that there are no permanent friends or enemies in partisan politics comes to mind. Zahid is saying he is free because he has always believed in the judiciary’s independence.
So sorry, brother (Najib), you have been found guilty by the same judicial system that Zahid has all along put his undivided faith in. The president of your party is saying his own freedom is due to the independence and unquestionable integrity of the judiciary; in doing so, he has unwittingly endorsed your conviction.
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So Najib, my heartfelt and deepest sympathy goes out to you.
K Veeriah is a veteran trade unionist based in Bukit Mertajam, Penang