Najib's pardon an example of justice tilting in favour of the influential - Abe Lim

08 Feb 2024 03:23pm
 Muda's Abe Lim Hooi Sean - Photo: FACEBOOK / ABE LIM
Muda's Abe Lim Hooi Sean - Photo: FACEBOOK / ABE LIM

SHAH ALAM - Muda's Abe Lim Hooi Sean has criticised the recent Pardons Board's decision to grant former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak a partial pardon, saying that the move is a glaring example of justice tilting in favour of the influential.

Lim's remark came amidst growing discontent over a pardon granted to a person who was embroiled in a massive scandal, raising concerns about the integrity of the country's justice system and the commitment to anti-corruption reforms.

"The pardon is a clear example of how the scales of justice tilt in favour of those with influence, leaving the common man to bear the cost of their extravagance and corruption. And calling it a 'partial pardon'?.

"That's kind of stretching it when almost a majority of the punishment just vanishes, especially given how massive the scandal was.

"It's embarrassing for Malaysia itself," she told Sinar Daily.

Lim also criticised the current government's failure to deliver promises of reforms, particularly in combating corruption.

She highlighted a series of disappointments, including the discontinuation of cases like the court granting a discharge not amounting to an acquittal (DNAA), the alleged hushing up of the Littoral Combat Ships (LCS) scandal and the selective prosecution of certain individuals while sparing others.

"The current government came in promising all this change and reforms, especially about tackling corruption head-on. Then boom, DNAA happened, the LCS scandal got swept under the rug, then this pardon happens.

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"It's like a gut punch to everyone who thought things were going to be different this time around.

"We're still dealing with the financial hangover from the 1MDB mess—billions in interest payments that could've been used for so much more — schools, hospitals, energy transition," she said.

Lim also expressed hope that the pardon controversy would serve as a wake-up call for both the government and the people.

She stressed the importance of maintaining pressure for reforms, fostering civic engagement and holding leaders accountable.

"It has to be a wake-up call, not just for the government but for all of us. The future we're hoping for is one where the government sticks to its reforms agenda, not letting power dynamics water down the promises of change.

"It's about finding a balance. Yes, unity is crucial, especially in a diverse political landscape like Malaysia's, but not at the expense of accountability and justice.

"The hope is for a government that's transparent about its compromises, one that engages with its citizens, explaining decisions and reaffirming its commitment to reforms," she said.

The Kuala Lumpur High Court originally sentenced Najib to 12 years jail for misappropriating RM42 million in SRC International Sdn Bhd funds. He was also fined RM210 million.

His conviction and sentence were subsequently upheld by the Court of Appeal and the Federal Court.

The Pardons Board commuted his sentence when it held a meeting on Jan 29.

While the reduced sentence placed his release date in August 2028, Najib could be released earlier on "good behaviour" in August 2026 after serving two-thirds of his sentence.

The decision has faced criticisms from various parties. However, the unity government leaders have called on all parties to respect the board's decision.

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