Yeah Najib was found guilty of all seven charges but don’t expect to see him behind bars anytime soon
I know August is around the corner but if there’s anything that has made the rakyat proud to call themselves Malaysian, it’s the verdict of former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s SRC International trial. Najib was found guilty of seven charges relating to the misappropriation of RM42mil in SRC International Sdn Bhd funds.
Of course, not everyone is happy with the decision but given everything that Najib and the previous government has done to plunder Malaysians of their hard earned cash, the verdict was a long time coming. That being said though, is this justice or just ice?
What I mean is this: In spite of the fact that Najib has been found guilty of one count of abuse of power, three counts of criminal breach of trust and three counts of money laundering, the former PM will only serve 12 years in jail. Why? Because the judge announced that all jail sentences will run concurrently. So from 32 years to a mere 12, which you would argue isn’t nearly enough for what he’s done.
It doesn’t even end there. Najib’s defence team was successful in its application for a stay of execution, which essentially means that his sentencing will be delayed subject to an appeal. So, the 12 years and RM210 million fine is going to have to wait.. for at least a year!
That’s right, so in spite of being found guilty of all seven charges, Najib won’t be seeing a jail cell for at least a year, and even then, this is assuming that his appeal application is rejected. The worrying part is that Najib’s lawyer seemed rather excited about taking this to the court of appeal.
He brought up the fact that this case was decided by just the one judge, whereas in the court of appeal there are three judges and an additional seven in the federal court, meaning the fate of Najib’s appeal rests in their judgement.
While an appeal in its essence should be encouraged, the long drawn out nature of it is what worries me, especially given Malaysia’s track record on issues like this.
Don’t get me wrong, Najib had to pay RM7 million in bail, will have to report to the nearest police station on the 1st and 15th of every month, has had his passport taken away from him and is now considered a convict.
However, with the appeal process set to be drawn out for a year and the shadow of a snap election looming, there’s just too much room for Murphy’s law to kick in and present us with a gross miscarriage of justice here. Whatever it is, the verdict yesterday is one battle won. We just have to hope for the same outcome in the battles ahead.